Game Review: Animal Crossing New Horizons Halloween


By Hannah K


The Animal Crossing New Horizons Halloween update has been ours for a few weeks now, and as promised it has been full of tricks and treats. From this player to you, here are some of my thoughts about this update!

First- PUMPKINS. I love the addition of pumpkin growing, and the aesthetic of the cute plants is to die for. They grow in four colors- orange, yellow, white, and green, and can sprout anywhere from one to three pumpkins per plant depending on how often they're watered. I made two patches on my island, and with the addition of the spooky fence DIY (a pumpkin-shaped wrought iron fencing), they look perfectly seasonally appropriate. I only hope that the plants can stick around through all seasons.

Next is the furniture, decorations, and DIY recipes. This is where the update falls a little flat for me, personally. There is only one set of furniture, with four color customization options depending on the color of the pumpkins you have. The pieces are mostly outdoor decorations like scarecrows, haybales with pumpkin lanterns, hanging lamps, and archways. The aesthetic of the furniture themselves is great, the jack o lanterns have very expressive faces and they glow in the nighttime- but I was really hoping for some indoor furniture to decorate my house with. There is a nice indoor table and a chair, but they just look like big pumpkins. I (and others I've seen online) was really hoping for some nice gothy, dark furniture this holiday, instead of all outdoor pieces based around jack o lanterns. The furniture is very cute and seasonally appropriate, there just isn't a lot of variety. My complaint here isn't unfounded, either. In previous Animal Crossing titles, we've seen two different furniture sets for Halloween, a pumpkin-themed set and a spooky gothic set. Why they didn't choose to go this route again this year is unknown, especially when there are no other gothic or dark themed furniture sets to choose from (I miss you Rococo furniture set!).

Where I feel this update shines is the clothing choices. There have been quite a few fun costume pieces popping up in the Able Sister's store every day, and mixing and matching them to make costumes or just spook up an everyday look has been my favorite thing about this update. I have been pairing some of the new pieces with custom designs to make some really fun costume-type looks. 

Going along with the costumes is the skin tone and eye customization options. On the very first day, I turned my eyes a bright neon pink and haven't gone back. My friends have been experimenting with the green, blue, and purple skin tones, and my wife is likely going to wear the pale white skin tone for the rest of her time playing. It's a lot of fun to be able to customize your character this way, and I'm glad we're going to have access to them for the entirety of the year.

While we still have to wait a bit for the big finale of the October update, which is of course Halloween night, it's been fun playing with the new features. For those of us that have Nintendo Online, the biggest fun for the update comes from visiting friends' islands almost every day. Their Able's might have a costume piece yours doesn't, or a villager of theirs might be crafting the DIY that you've been looking for. Plus, since you can only buy one piece of candy from your own shop a day, by visiting your friends you can collect more candy to pass out to your villagers on Halloween night!

For us creepy-inclined people that love Animal Crossing, this update might have been a bit disappointing. But overall, just from playing at the beginning of this month, I've been having fun picking pumpkins and making costumes. Hopefully, the 31st and the visit from Jack the Czar of Halloween will put the perfect spooky ribbon on this fun event.