Hot on the heels of their big Super Mario Mario 2 update announcement, Nintendo is rolling out another update to Animal Crossing: New Horizons this week, and this time it’s bringing a whole bunch of new content along with it. We knew that this update was on its way as the promotional video announcing Bunny Day had teased some kind of Earth Day-related holiday event featuring everyone’s favorite nature-loving sloth, Leif, we just didn’t know how soon it was going to hit or what it was going to entail. There’s a lot to unpack here so I’m going to break it down piece by piece.
Leif’s Garden Shop
Leif was introduced in Animal Crossing New Leaf as the keeper of the garden shop. This was a new addition to the franchise where players could buy shrubs and special flower packs not normally available in Nook’s Cranny. In addition to that, he would host Weeding Day, a periodic in-game event where players earned rewards for pulling up as many weeds as they can around their town. In addition to that, if more than 50 weeds were present in your town, you could find him outside of the shop and get his help weeding the town.
In New Horizons, Leif definitely appears to be resuming his post as the local seller of shrubbery & flower packs as a visitor in your town square periodically. No telling if he’ll earn his own shop through repeat visits, but this inclusion is exciting in itself as the addition of shrubs to the game will provide a whole host of new decoration options for you to take advantage of on your island. Although he will be present on Nature Day there is no telling what his involvement is yet, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Jolly Redd’s Treasure Trawler
Some may say that Tom Nook is the villain of the Animal Crossing series, but I beg to differ. The real villain is Redd, formerly known as Crazy Redd, an art hustler who would periodically appear in your town in previous games to sell you works of art for your home or museum. What he doesn’t tell you though is that most of his wares are counterfeits, and unless you have an eye for detail you could be swindled out of your hard-earned bells!
In New Horizons, Redd is reprising his role as the local art dealer, this time docking at your secret beach on a boat full of his wares. One again it appears that inspection is going to be necessary when buying from him as you can’t teach an old fox new tricks. Thankfully the game appears to have included a much more detailed inspection tool, ahh the wonders of high-definition gaming. I would strongly suggest waiting for a definitive guide of the fakes to come out before you start throwing cash as this crazy fox, but you can always compare the works he’s selling to their real-life counterparts if you’re in a hurry to collect as many as you can.
Museum Expansion – Art Gallery
Since Redd is coming around with all manner of wonderful art pieces it would only make sense for you to need somewhere to display them! Thankfully Blathers has us covered with a new wing being added to the museum to collect all of the art you purchase. Beware though, Blathers will only accept legitimate pieces of art and will turn you away if you try to donate a counterfeit!
Nature Day (April 23rd – May 4th)
This is the equivalent of an Earth Day holiday in the Animal Crossing world. While we don’t know the full extent of what this limited-time event is going to bring us, we do know that there will be special Nook Miles+ rewards available to earn through nature-related tasks during the time period. In previous games, Nature Day was pretty bare-bones with some decorations put up in Town Square for you to play around with, and maybe a special piece of furniture given away by a character. The decorations don’t appear to be present in the promotional video Nintendo shared though so my bet is that it’s something more interactive this time around.
Since Leif is being introduced alongside this new holiday there is always a chance that they’re combining it with Weeding Day (especially since weeds are actually useful in this game), and by that measure, we might see some new DIY recipes to learn. Of course, we won’t know until the event starts, but that would be an excellent turn of events!
May Day (May 1st – May 7th)
This is a new addition to the world of Animal Crossing. As such, there really isn’t a lot I can tell you about it just yet. Based on the promo video players will have access to some special islands using a new May Day Ticket item. The Island shown in the video looks really interesting as far as the layout goes, so I’m excited to see what this actually is!
International Museum Day (May 18th – May 31st)
As the title of this event suggests, it’s in celebration of museums around the world! During this special event, players will be able to take part in a stamp rally. Stamp rallies are very popular in Japan, especially when the weather gets warmer, so it’s not super surprising to see something like this pop up in Animal Crossing. Based on the looks of it, much like a real-world stamp rally, players will collect specific stamps during the course of this event and will no doubt be able to turn them in for a special reward once they have them all. This is another new addition to the Animal Crossing franchise so it’s going to be fun to see how it plays out.
Wedding Season (June 1st – June 30th)
Yet another new holiday being added for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Wedding Season looks to incorporate Harv’s island very directly. In the video we can see Cyrus & Reese as well, making it the first time they show up in this new game (I would really love if their Re-Tail store would come back eventually). You’ll be helping the happy Alpaca couple take pictures to commemorate their anniversary as a part of this event. No idea yet if there’s more to it, but what a cute addition!
This update marks the second big update for the game since it’s release back in March, and if it’s any indication of what future updates are going to be like then I can’t wait for them to keep coming. Data miners within the Animal Crossing community have already dug up a whole bunch of exciting potential features like vegetable gardening & cooking, but as they aren’t in the game yet there’s a chance that they might never surface. A lot of really popular furniture from previous games is still missing too, and as the updates don’t highlight what kind of furniture or item additions are going to be included in the changelog I’m pretty hopeful that these major ones bring a bunch of new things with them that we’ll all have to discover through playing. Who doesn’t love a surprise?
This free Animal Crossing: New Horizons update will hit your Nintendo Switch on April 23rd.