Let’s tour my Animal Crossing: New Horizons island!

It’s been less than four weeks since Animal Crossing: New Horizons came out, and I’ve already played more than 135 hours of it. For years, I’d been saying that when this game came out, I wouldn’t want to do anything else – I wanted to stay on my sofa with the Switch, never leaving the house, ignoring everything else in my life.

And another finger on the monkey’s paw curled. Sorry folks, I guess this was my fault.

For those of you who’ve somehow avoided the Animal Crossing frenzy of the past month, it’s a series of games which comedian Ron Funches once described as “I am the human mayor of an animal town”. In New Horizons, you are the “island representative” rather than the mayor, but it’s pretty much the same. You settle on a deserted island with your talking animal buddies – mine is named Sugarloaf. Then it’s up to you to develop the island, plant flowers, decorate your house, go fishing, and so on. It all plays out in realtime and the island changes with the time of day and the seasons. The game is very, very chill, and I think everyone agrees the timing of its release really couldn’t be better.

New Horizons has some new features for the series which I was very excited about: you can place furniture outside, and you can terraform the island. (I have ascended from Mayor to God.) So much of my 135+ hour playtime has been spent decking my island out, and making it a nice place to putter around catching butterflies and doing the gardening.

I am pretty proud of how it is looking now, so I thought I’d do a tour and show off what I’ve been working on.

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Screaming about Neal Stephenson and wolves in the middle of the night

A crescent moon. Photo by Haseesh Rahithya on Unsplash.

As I write this, it is 1.30am, and I cannot sleep.

Inside me, there are two wolves, and the wolves are locked in an eternal battle.

The battle is because one of the wolves thinks Seveneves by Neal Stephenson is great, and the other wolf thinks it’s shit.

This war has been raging for two years now, ever since I read the book, and it still drives me to distraction on a regular basis, and so here is a blog post to try to settle this furious internal disagreement and make the wolves shut up.

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New Year, new me?

I am a bit of a New Year’s girl. I’m not talking about New Year’s Eve, with the idea of parties, champagne and midnight kisses (or, more accurately for me, some board games). I mean the first day of the year, where you have a fresh 365 (or 366) days to look forward to. It feels like a nice blank slate. A fresh start. All the stress and buzz of the holidays has passed, and I feel like I can settle into a groove again.

But my favourite part of the New Year has always been New Year’s resolutions. “This is it,” I tell myself. “This is the year when I will really sort my shit out.” For the self-improvement addict, New Years is kind of like Halloween – who do I want to go as this year? Maybe I’ll pretend to be someone who does life drawing, works out regularly, and has a consistent morning routine. If I wear the costume long enough, I may become it.

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What’s cheering me up right now

Oh yeah, I have a blog. As you might have guessed from my drop in posting, the last few months have not been so great. A lot of shitty things have been going on and unfortunately that currently shows no signs of stopping.

But I don’t really want to write about any of that right now, and one of the reasons I started this blog was to have a space to just geek out about stuff I’m enjoying, so let’s talk about some of that instead.

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The saddest Pokédex entries

Pikachu crying

“Cubone pines for the mother it will never see again. Seeing a likeness of its mother in the full moon, it cries. The stains on the skull the Pokémon wears are made by the tears it sheds.”

“It stands in front of a mirror, trying to fix its broken neck as if its life depended on it. It has a hard time getting it right, so it’s crying inside.”

“It is virtually worthless in terms of both power and speed. It is the most weak and pathetic Pokémon in the world.”

Actual Pokédex entries

In gym class, this Pokémon was always picked last. It has a recurring skin infection which it feels very self-conscious about.

This Pokémon is tormented by headaches, but it doesn’t have any psychic powers. Just headaches.

As a child, it dreamed of becoming an artist. It is now known as “the call centre Pokémon”. It thinks about doing a life drawing class, but can’t afford it.

This Pokémon’s mother didn’t like it as much as its sibling, and she thought nobody could tell, but everyone could.

On full moons, this Pokémon can be seen doing strange dances by itself. When it runs out of wine, it has a breakdown and looks up its ex on Instagram.

This Pokémon is cursed to haunt the Pumpkin Café at Swindon railway station. As if that isn’t enough, it’s also named Pooplybloots.

An orphan, it once threw a birthday party and nobody came to it. Also it looks like a crying turnip or something. That’s what this Pokémon’s deal is.

Remember your beloved childhood pet who your parents said went to the farm? They actually put it down. Now its ghost is a Pokémon and it hates you.

This Pokémon is just absolute trash. Scientists are currently researching why it sucks so much so they can feel better about themselves.

Known for its red and white stripes, this Pokémon was relegated for two seasons running. This Pokémon is Sunderland AFC.