GAMEPLAY: You move to a deserted island where you fish, craft, collect, furnish and spend time with friends. A lot of text, slow one-thing-at-a-time pace and movement (to help you from making mistakes), and it results in slightly lacking gameplay feel. Still extremely polished and enjoyable, especially if you have a creative mind.
AUDIOVISUALLY: Simple but beautiful visuals, impressive how the framerate can stay solid when you place hundreds of various items on screen. There are some nice songs too (6pm!), but some are surprisingly annoying too. I would have liked more variation in the end. Maybe winter has other songs?
STORY/PRESENTATION: From my perspective, the progress isn’t slow enough. In previous games you were “out of things to do” after just an hour or so per day, but this time you can marathon things, and reach what is essentially “the end” in just 10 days. It’s a good ride, and it opens up the minecraft-like terraforming, but there aren’t many new things unlocking after that. For the first time in a video game, I’m craving DLC, and a lot of it.
MULTIPLAYER: Couch-co-op is a fun distraction a couple of times but is too limited. The online experience is amazing though, except for the long loading times. It’s a lot of fun to regularly visit your friends to trade things and see what they’ve made. Sharing island (a requirement if you share your Switch with someone) is also a great experience as long as you can collaborate.
It’s hard to compare this to other games. It’s more of a virtual reality, one where you can spend hours and hours just designing signs and floor tiles, or hanging out with visitors. The biggest flaw for me is the limited amount of custom patterns. Please Nintendo, give me twice the pattern inventory in an update so I can keep creating unique visuals!
I will keep checking in for a bit every day, but 150 hours in, I’m out of island space to build more things, and it’s time to start playing other games again.