Seasonal events in Animal Crossing New Horizons have one big flaw and Nintendo should fix it going forward.
Animal Crossing New Horizons has been everything I hoped for. After playing New Leaf daily for nearly seven years, New Horizons simply couldn’t come soon enough. When it arrived I sank an unhealthy amount of hours into the game and since its release back in March 2020 I continiously evolved my island and thoroughly enjoyed my time on Poodlehead, my island.
One of the major draws to any Animal Crossing game have been the seasonal events. There is something so special to play the game in real time without time travel and enjoy events on the island at the same time they are happening in real life.
Transporting Easter, Halloween and even Christmas into the game really lets your creativity and holiday spirit flow. I love covering my entire island and Animal Crossing home in festive decor. But somehow that wasn’t possible in New Horizons.
Release holiday items prior to the actual holiday event
The major drawback on most holiday events that took place in new Horizons since its launch are the items we were given during any holiday season – more specific the time we were given these items.
It all started with the Halloween event back in October for me, While there were many DIYs for adorable items that can be used to decorate your island in time for Halloween, it took major dedication to get all of these DIY’s in time for the actual holiday. If you didn’t pour dozens of hours into the game, there is a chance you received very few of these DIY’s.
It was not until late October when I had a descent amount of holiday items in my catalogue to start decorating my island. This was such a bummer since the spooky time is one of my favorite times of the year but due to the low drop rate of the DIYs from balloons and villagers providing duplicates at times I wasn’t really able to turn my island into a spooktacular place until Jack arrived on the day of Halloween on October 31st.
In addition to that, one of my personal most desired items – the Pumpkin Cart was given to us at the end of Halloween from Jack, pretty much at the same time as Halloween ended.
However, the fact that villagers provided Halloween DIYs was still an advantage over the Toy Day holiday event.
Animal Crossing New Horizons First Toy Day was the peak of disappointment
While Halloween was a so and so event in terms of being able to obtain items in time for the actual holiday – Toy Day was the peak of disappointment to an extend that I felt discouraged to do anything with my island for the holidays making dusty pumpkins and a rotten pumpkin patch the seasonal decorative highlight of my island.
Up until December 24th I received a total of two Holiday themed DIYs including the wreath Isabelle gave me and a DIY I obtained from a balloon which was the actual Christmas tree. While I love both items it simply wasn’t enough to turn my island into a holiday wonderland.
All of this after playing the game daily, in the mornings and afternoons to make sure I get all my beach and villager DIY’s, shoot down balloons and attend to my daily tasks.
Snowy Wonderland without… snow ever falling
From the day Animal Crossing New Horizons first released I simply couldn’t wait for the first ever holiday and toy day season in the game, since I do not time travel I had to wait a good amount of time for the season to arrive.
When the time had finally come and December 1st arrived, I was surprised to see my island looked like any other day in Fall, orange trees, burned grass and the sun just kept shining and shining and shining and…
It was not until mid December that my island finally turned its leaf and snow started appearing on the ground. This might sound like it isn’t a big deal but a winter wonderland is needed to create the ultimate emersion of the holiday season something that Animal Crossing used to be so good at. No matter where you look, postcards, movies, the ideal holiday scenery is a snowy landscape and Nintendo used to know that.
I wrote an entire article about the fact that it snowed once during the entire winter and holiday time, let alone Halloween, where I have never had a single drop of rain fall completely defeating and eliminating the spooky atmosphere you come to expect from that season.
I have seen fog, rain, thunderstorms, why would that weather not have a higher percentage of appearing on your island during the spookiest time of the year?
Let it snow and let us have seasonal items well ahead of the actual event
Nintendo did an amazing job implementing weather effects like thunderstorms and even blizzards that I just never get to experience. I actually had to look up videos of some of the weather effects because they don’t ever trigger for me or many of my friends playing the game.
Thunderstorm on Halloween and Blizzards during winter would have created much more atmosphere and due to the lack of it I felt a lot less inclined to play and pretend its Fall or winter when the weather is the same boring clear blue sky and sunshine… Every! Single! Day!
Why would Able Sisters sell me beanies and Skiing outfits and Timmy and Tommy stocking beautiful umbrella designs when neither of these items ever quite come into play.
In addition to making the weather match the actual season like it was the case in every other Animal Crossing game prior to New Horizons, it is absolutely crucial to be able to obtain seasonal items and DIYs well ahead of the actual event.
Receiving Holiday Items on Toy Day defeats the purpose
Yes, I love the Toy Day Gift Pile but receiving it on the day of Christmas made it absolutely useless to me. I actually never placed it on my island and its stored away for next year for now.
It was the same feeling with the receiving the 2021 celebratory arch which is so much fun but getting it when the celebration is over, made it pointless as well. I would have loved to place it days or even a week ahead of the actual New Years event.
Nintendo recently announced that seasonal event may change year over year which means that next Easter, Halloween or Toy Day event we will be getting different items, which is a wonderful addition and more in line with what Animal Crossing Pocket Camp does but that might mean that items obtained last year may not come into place next holiday season as there will be plenty of new items to obtain.
Yay! Jingle is here… and he’s gone
With all the anticipation and exctiment for Toy Day I was burning to meet Jingle. But just like we have seen during Halloween where Jack only appeared for a few hours on the actual day of event, Jingle only came by on Toy Day and left shortly after.
This felt beyond disappointing, I would have loved to host Jingle for a few days and actually make the Toy Day event part of the Holiday season rather than it taking place on a day most people actually don’t want to play the game for an extensive amount of time.
Make Seasonal Events longer than one single day
If you have played Pocket Camp you may noticed that events can be enjoyed for days if not weeks. Jingle could have easily appeared on December 15th and ask for our help to spread holiday joy by decorating the island, giving us tasks to do and actually making us feel and enjoy the holidays throughout the month of December. This should be the way with all seasonal events going forward.
Nintendo please give us seasonal items prior to the actual event so we can use them to decorate our islands and enjoy the festives throughout the month and not just for a few hours on the day of event.