I am the last living human without a Nintendo Switch, which makes me the only living human who has never played Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Based on what I see on social media, the game has something to do with a fascist raccoon named Tom Nook and also the supply/demand curve of turnips. Everyone loves this game, and I am admittedly envious of my friends who get to visit each other’s islands while I visit no one.
Still, there is some noise on the internet suggesting that Animal Crossing has milkshake ducked, and that I am the lone lucky human whose mind and serotonin levels have yet to be damaged by the drama surrounding these pixelated anthropomorphic animals. Over the weekend, Vulture called Animal Crossing “soul-crushing,” and though it was in reference to an SNL sketch, I choose to expand it to a referendum on the game. Last month, my friend and former Splinter colleague Jack Crosbie published a persuasive screed listing Animal Crossing’s failings, including its clunky user interface, unrewarding tasks, and the aforementioned fascist Tom Nook. Crosbie likened the game to being trapped in a hamster cage.
“In Animal Crossing, you start the game as a cog in the machine, and there is no way to escape,” he concludes, which seems unpleasant.
A quick Google search suggests Crosbie is not alone in his criticism (though he is mostly alone—but still!) So, to convince the rest of you to give up Animal Crossing—and to make myself feel better about not being able to play it—here are some headlines, along with my completely uneducated and probably incorrect commentary:
Dumb and boring. Crosbie said it, not me!
Your turnips are too expensive (I think?)
I don’t know what this means, but it sounds real bad!
Haven’t clowns had enough trouble lately?
I’m sorry, but this is very rude.
Turnip price-gouging? In this economy??
You are all very unwell!!!!!!
I’m sorry, but I am truly worried about each and every one of you. Stop this now! Cease your island-hopping tyranny! Break free from the madness! Toss your Switch!! Or, ah, email in bio if you’d like to give it to me.