Animal Crossing New Horizons’ DLC is Incredibly Stress Relieving


Animal Crossing New Horizons is a game that I bet most people have heard of due to its great popularity in 2020. When people were quarantined in their homes, they found comfort in a new Animal Crossing game, where you play as someone who won a resort trip to a desolate island to make your own. You get to customize your character, invite cute animals to your island, and customize the island itself with furniture and paths. The “construction” function is completely new for Animal Crossing games, and it definitely split the fans when it was first released. When I first got the game, I was focused on clearing the beginning part of the game so I could try customizing, but eventually, I got bored and moved on to other games. I thought that New Horizons would continue to be just a game I play every so often, but then the DLC Happy Home Paradise was released. 

This is not exactly an article that will recommend this DLC since it is definitely catered toward a specific type of Animal Crossing fan. Basically, in this section of the game, you start working for a resort home design company, and you get to assign eager tourists to vacation homes, to then design the interior and exterior in accordance with the tourists’ interests. There is a requirement for certain furniture items to be used, but besides that, it has a lot of design freedom. Other functions, such as light color changes, special effects, and music can be added to create a sense of immersion for the tourist and the player. What is most interesting is that there is no score or point system in these designs. When organizing your own home, there is a score given to you depending on how you style your furniture, however, they seem to take a different approach here. No matter how you decide to organize their home, these adorable animal characters will always give you praise and appreciation, which for me definitely makes this more of a pleasant experience. Perhaps I am in the minority opinion on this, but I am glad that there is no pressure in creating. It gives me more room to explore different ways of configuring and structuring in accordance with an aesthetic. 

I can see that this game structure can be very repetitive and exhausting at times. For me, I was able to finish the DLC in a couple of days, but I know friends that still have not made it to the end credits. But I, personally, did not mind the repetitive gameplay at all. I think it gives you enough new functions and designs ideas that can keep you motivated to play this game. In an in-game phone app, you can record photos of all of your homes and see your evolution of design styles, which can be very rewarding. I do not recommend a rushed playstyle, like mine. For pure enjoyment, one home per day can keep you from burning out and can keep your creative juices flowing.

When I was in a frustrated state of mind, this DLC gave me an outlet for powerful emotions by converting all of this energy into a beautiful home for someone to enjoy. I felt genuine relief and satisfaction after every finished home, which allowed me to approach life with a level head. Although I can understand that this game may have its flaws, I love it dearly and still play it whenever I need a source of inspiration and comfort.

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