Animal Crossing: New Horizons won't hit the Nintendo Switch until March 20, but anyone can get a preview taste of island life right now in the free-to-play mobile game Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.
Nintendo launched a new limited-time event in Pocket Camp Thursday to celebrate the release of New Horizons that includes new fish, clothes, and a whole lot more.
This "Countdown to Release" event runs from March 12 until the game's release on March 20, and as soon as players boot up the game they will be greeted with special log-in bonuses and 20 Leaf Tickets to be used in-game. For the time being, these bonuses should hopefully curb the need to use any of Pocket Camp's microtransactions, something that thankfully isn't present in New Horizons.
Additionally, players can move their camp to a deserted island like the one of New Horizons for a change of scenery, and the new environment comes with new fish to catch. Tom Noon brings his nephews Tim and Tommy to join in the fun, and they all sport some New Horizons attire, namely some stylish Hawaiian shirts. Players can even get a similar shirt for themselves in Pocket Camp during the event. We don't yet know if this shirt will be available in Animal Crossing: New Horizons or if any progress made in Pocket Camp will be meaningful in any way for the new game, but this event is still a fun preview nonetheless.
The loading screens have also been changed in Pocket Camp with a New Horizons aesthetic. The crossover event was originally teased during the Animal Crossing direct, and it's one of the most noteworthy updates to Pocket Camp in quite a while.
The crossover is a good way to preview aspects of Animal Crossing: New Horizons before the game is released later this month. Early impressions for New Horizons are very positive, which is making this wait all the more excruciating.
March 20, which oddly enough is the release date for both New Horizons and Doom Eternal, can't come soon enough.
The Inverse Analysis
This crossover signifies the end of an era for Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp. While it has almost been seven years since the last core Animal Crossing game hit a Nintendo platform, Pocket Camp was one of the few spin-off games that filled that void and ultimately faired much better than the likes of Happy Home Designer and the critically panned Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival.
Pocket Camp will now have to compete with a mainline Animal Crossing game but it simply won't compare. So it remains to be seen how heavily Nintendo will support Pocket Camp after New Horizons launches, or if players will even stick around after the fact. In the meantime, this crossover probably means that plenty of players will be hopping back into Pocket Camp for the first time in months in order to get this preview for what New Horizons crossover has to offer.
Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be released for Nintendo Switch on March 20.