This week marks the one-year anniversary of my blog. To celebrate this properly, I’m going to publish extra posts this week, all in the theme of self-care. Especially during these trying times, I thought it’d be nice to share with you the different ways I practise self-care and relaxation. For a sex blog, some of these posts will be incredibly unsexy, but hey, that’s part of life too. I hope you’ll enjoy it and I hope to be around for many more years to come!
Review Animal Crossing – New Horizons
Right, the first meaningful way I practise self-care is with video games. I have trouble relaxing, and one of the best ways for me to let go of the issues of the daily world is to immerse myself in another, digital, universe. I have talked about Lord of the Rings Online before, and I also play The Sims 4 now and then. Today I want to talk about my latest find: Animal Crossing New Horizons.
This game can only be played on a Nintendo Switch, which I didn’t have until two weeks ago. I have a problematic relationship with gaming consoles. I always want to own them, but when I do, I hardly ever use them. The only console I frequently used was the Nintendo Wii. I have very fond memories of playing Mario Party with my husband. We had the best of fun with the two of us. My Playstation 2 and GameCube mainly stood there, gathering dust.
As you may have guessed, I’m a casual gamer. I like simple games best. I’m not the best at manoeuvring or solving challenging puzzle quests. I also don’t have the patience to grind for hours. After circling the same area twice for wood or metal material, I get bored and give up.
I Love Videogames
But I do love games. In that respect, I take after my father. Until his final day, he played Everquest, a game similar to the style of World of Warcraft.
So when I was browsing Twitter the last couple of weeks, I saw this one game mentioned over and over again. It looked like a lot of fun, people were sharing the funniest stories, and all the characters within the game looked so cute!
I had planned on buying a Nintendo Switch with the money earned from my writing, but I also knew it was going to take several more months before I had made that much. And lockdown was now, so I dipped into my saving and ordered a Nintendo Switch two weeks ago. The next day it arrived, and I downloaded the game through the e-store. So it began…
Not For Me
Even though I had read all the enthusiastic responses online, I wasn’t too sure I was actually going to enjoy the game myself. The game is a life-sim where your character gets dropped onto a deserted island and needs to start a new life there. So far, so good.
There are no farming options. I was disappointed when I read that. You can invite villagers to your island to come and live with you. Cool, that’s what I wanted. There are fish and bugs to be collected. Hmm, that sounds kinda grindy, not for me. Your house can be decorated. Nope, also not my style. In all honesty, I expected to play the game for three days and then lose interest. That didn’t happen.
Animal Crossing New Horizons is so much fun and addictive, we have played it almost non-stop since we began. We, yes, my husband is entirely into it too, maybe even more than me.
What they have done with the gameplay is really nifty. The game runs in real-time, and for all the significant features to unlock, you need to wait a day. Like, literally, wait a day. Go to bed, sleep a full night, in the morning your new building will have been built, or your new neighbour will have arrived. The reset is at 4 AM, so even with my regular bedtime between 2 and 3 AM, waiting for an extra hour is too much for a videogame.
Because of this timing feature, I am forced to wait, and I actually am curious to wake up in the morning and check out the game to see what has been added.
The other consequence is that it is impossible to finish this game in one day. Through some cheating techniques, you can hack some benefits, but it’s impossible to unlock everything. This makes gameplay very relaxed. You can go fishing, you can catch some butterflies, you can talk to the villagers, but nothing is required. And that’s what makes it so addictive. I’ll just find one more fish…one more butterfly…
I’ve even started to decorate my house with random gifts I received from the game or from my fellow villagers. And with these gifts, I even crafted my own writing room 😀
So yes, Liz now decorates houses, oh, and changes clothes four times a day. The in-game dresses are so much fun, and villagers love to see you wear the gift they gave you.
Great All-Round Game
Animal Crossing New Horizons is so much fun. It changes with the seasons around you, so I can’t wait to see what’s coming in Summer. Next to that, there are several festivals which bring different items and activities.
And you can invite friends over. One evening, we connected with my husbands’ friends island, and they gave us a tour. That was the best night I had all night. We face-timed at the same time, and it felt so close and so real. It was an actual social event that I’ve been missing out on since the lockdown began.
The game is very friendly and benign, except for all the debt you have for building your house. But you can take you time paying that back, so even that’s not a big issue. And making money, Bells, isn’t that hard. You can also play the ‘stalk-market’ with turnips and make pretty big profits that way.
Self-Care and Relaxation
For me, this game is perfect self-care. It makes me relaxed, the villagers make me laugh, and it makes me forget about the world. And I can even connect with real people and invite friends over. We’re long past the three days that I thought I was going to play this game. I guess I’m going to check back into my town for weeks, maybe months to come.