The ‘Animal Crossing’ update we didn’t know we needed

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So your Switch has been collecting dust since late August. Your villagers haven’t seen you since Tom Nook gave you a second bedroom and their hopes of ever seeing you return have been dwindling day by lonesome day. That is until Nintendo announced the game’s latest free update and paid expansion.

With the new update comes a host of new locations, items and experiences. Firstly, the much-anticipated return of Brewster’s cafe “The Roost” has island reps flooding back to their abandoned seaside homes by the Dodo plane-full.

After taking up a quest from museum curator Blathers to locate his long lost friend Brewster, you can go to your pier and discover the return of trusty seafarer Kapp’n. Kapp’n’s return allows for islanders to not only find Brewster, but also to travel to uninhabited mystery islands on which new types of plants, bushes and vines await. On one of these islands, you’ll find Brewster searching for Gyroids, long-awaited decor items that make unique sounds and dance little jigs.

After you ask him to move in, he can be found in the museum the next day, which is just enough time for you to check in on your abandoned villagers and set up a new island ordinance. The ordinances, one of four, will change the time your villagers are most active and what they do for the island community. The “Beautiful Island” ordinance, for instance, makes it so that no cockroaches will appear, no trash will get fished up, weeds will grow less often and villagers will water flowers more often.

The “Early Bird” ordinance allows for your villagers to wake up about an hour earlier than usual, and shops will also open an hour earlier. The “Night Owl” ordinance allows for your residents to go to bed anywhere from one to two hours later, and shops will close an hour later. And finally, for all you aspiring millionaires, the “Bell Boom” ordinance raises the cost of goods while also increasing the amount of money you can make from selling items.

But something may feel like it’s missing, still. Not quite loving your home decor? Island feels like it’s lacking that extra pizazz that all the cool Animal Crossing YouTubers have? Try the new DLC: “Happy Home Paradise.” With this paid expansion, you can take off from your island’s airport and travel to the Happy Home Archipelago to work as a vacation home designer. At this new job, you can learn new design skills to spruce up both your own home as well as the homes of any other villager on your island. Learn how to polish and make items sparkle and shine. Learn how to add partition walls, counters and accent wall patterns. Become a master of landscaping.

Overall, the new design techniques and activities are unmatched to anything Nintendo has given us before. And I still haven’t even discussed group stretching in the plaza, islander home visits, new Nook holidays and all of the hundreds of new items added with the updates for you to unlock and explore. See for yourself, go dust off your switch, say hi to your islanders, and jump back into New Horizons.