While we’re all stuck at home like responsible social-distancing adults, it’s time to agree on one universal truth: there’s nothing more forlornly arresting than looking at Instagram throwback photos your bougie mates are posting about the Eurotrips they took while you were in a club bathroom getting reacquainted with whippets.
Sure, you could flex some old Siege of Orgrimmar screenshots, but it’s just not the same. There’s a solution, though. We say hit back at the man and take part in your very own island retreat! With a generous sponsorship from Dodo Airlines to the tune of USD$59.99, you too can visit a veritable paradise of your own! Here are some things to do on everyone’s new favorite holiday destination — Animal Crossing: New Horizons.
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1. Observe Deadly Wildlife Entirely Unsupervised
Ever visited Australia and thought “You know what this place is missing? More animals that could absolutely take me the fuck out”? Well, you’re in luck, because Animal Crossing: New Horizons is totally packed to the gills with things that want to kill you. Nothing gets your heart rate up quite like engaging in a Mexican standoff with tarantulas, or stubbornly shaking down trees and treating yourself to wasps to the face. Everyone just wants to feel a little alive. Sometimes the key to that is getting an unrealistic amount of tarantula venom injected into your veins and praying for the best. Want to do that without your mates being killjoys and telling you to get help? Well, you can here!
2. Twitch at Your Own Pace
Forget needing to travel a million miles to the Scottish countryside to catch a glimpse of a non-seasonal avian. If you’re a fan of twitching, you can reap all the benefits and then some so long as you’re kicking around on the beach of your new deserted island getaway. We’ve heard that rare, geographically-challenged birds will wash up on the shores every now and again — always hailing from a new exotic location. The locals say if you let these birds borrow your NookPhone to phone home, you could wind up with a pleasant surprise in the mail later.
Editor’s Note: “Twitching” is apparently a word for fancy birdwatching. In the U.S., it’s more commonly referred to as “chasing,” and I was absolutely not going to change Ginny’s wording to that.
3. Watch Out for Some Hungry Ghosts
Reckon that GOOP isn’t nearly hardcore enough for you? Need something a little more exotic than jade eggs to put stock in? The locals on your deserted island are going to swear by one thing and one thing only: spirit pieces. While the jury’s still out on whether owning spirit pieces can actually improve one’s virility and quality of island life, one thing’s for certain: you can join a ghost-watching tour and find out for yourself. Gather in front of Resident Services some time after 10 p.m. and bring a net with you! Spirit pieces can fly, and they’re going to do a lot of that once the resident ghost forcefully expels them from its body. Folk tales say that the ghost belongs to a villager who died in a hit-and-run and that its white van can be seen to this day if you squint at your campsite.
4. Go on a Cemetery Tour
It’s not all chanting and Kumbaya on your deserted island. If you’ve always fancied yourself the soft goth friend of your inner circle, or harbored some kind of intense desire to trade teeth on Nookblr, then maybe a cemetery tour will be more your speed. You can start by swapping theories with the island’s inhabitants about who the mystery grave on the far south of the landmass belongs to… Your tour guide might posit that it belonged to a noble turtle with a passion for accounting, or that the person resting six feet under is a kindly old woman who used to hawk her turnips in the village square. Whatever your theory, lace up your boots and put your adult pants on — you might uncover something a lot more sinister than a tombstone. But that’s just part of the adventure, isn’t it?
5. We All Float Here
“How does the island meet all its sewerage needs?” you might ask. Well, you’re not alone there… With no unsightly run-off kicking about your beaches and rivers, it stands to reason that there’s a pretty extensive network of shit tunnels designed to collect the waste of everyone who lives on any given Animal Crossing island. It has to be disposed of somehow. With some of your neighbors eating some real high-fiber diets (a.k.a. every damn horse that we’ve come across), sewers are essential. Where there are sewers, however, there are always clowns. Ever wondered about those balloons that go floating through the otherwise clear skies, bearing gifts? We’ve seen this one before, and honestly, it’s not pretty; the islanders say that Lucky is covered in bandages for a reason, and that they have a shrieking fear of Pietro.
6. Check Out the Land Before Time in Blathers’ Museum
Think you’re a fan of natural history? The island has an attraction we guarantee will… well, wig you out a little bit. Forget about MOMA, we’re talking an installation that’s had visitors’ tongues wagging. If you head down to the prehistoric history portion of the museum then take a right, you’re going to see what looks like a genealogy chart connecting the denizens of the island. We’re talking a one-to-one link between the likes of our animal kingdom’s big cats to, well, the bipedal lions we see in our tropical paradise.
“Cute,” you might think. Well, it also makes you think a little harder about this mystery island you’ve landed on: the critters you see are direct descendants of animals that you know in your reality, except these all talk and have hyper-specific emotional responses to you. Did you pass through the Bermuda Triangle on the way to paradise? Is this just the plot of Lost, but with humans in fursuits? Why won’t Isabelle answer any of your questions about how she even found this place? Why won’t they give you real money? It all gets a bit much to think about, but maybe this guy Dr. Moreau can sort you out. The locals have been raving about his stress-relieving botox treatments…