ACNH What To Do
Image: Nintendo Life

It's been about a year since I last visited egg, my Animal Crossing: New Horizons island. I played a lot of Animal Crossing: New Leaf, so I knew what to expect when I booted it up again, following the jam-packed Animal Crossing Direct recently: weeds everywhere, cockroaches in my house, and villagers being more disappointed in me than my dad when he found out I wanted to be a games journalist.

"Well, well, well," they would say. "Look who's come CRAWLING back after months. We thought you were dead!" I don't blame them for being annoyed at me, because after all, I'm the only one who can decorate the island and make decisions.

Rex has been wanting to move out for ages, but apparently he needs my permission to do so. Sherb's been collecting trash that he wanted to unload on me. The Lost and Found is overflowing with stuff that only I can claim. KK Slider has been performing to a crowd of no one, and Gulliver is probably dead.

Well, I'm back now, and only because I've finally been enticed with new content. I'm a big fan of Brewster, even if I have never drunk a cup of coffee in my LIFE; the addition of farming and cooking will give me a massive amount of stuff to do in the game beyond decorating; and I'm intrigued by Kapp'n's islands, too, even if they seem quite similar to the existing deserted islands, just with a bit of extra flora and fauna.

But my island fills me with despair. I spent so long terraforming, renovating, planning it out and building it, but once all of that's done, well... it's not so fun any more. I'm left with a handful of options, and I don't like any of them...

Option One: Start Over

Please, don't make me do this again
Please, don't make me do this again (Image: Nintendo Life)

You know that feeling when you go to save an essay you've been working on all day, and the file corrupts? The idea of having to do it all again is enough to make you sick. Well, that's sort of how it would feel to start over.

I won't lie, I really like the idea of being untethered to what I've already done, and able to create something fresh; a large part of the reason my island bores me is because it's all done already. There's very little new, and the areas I spent so long creating are a pain to dismantle. It's much easier to buuuurn it alllll dooooown.

But... then I think about my Ironwood DIY recipes. My special event furniture. My outfits. My complete Museum. All of this stuff, I like having. I like being able to rummage around in my bulging storage boxes to suit whatever decorating ideas I have. I don't want to do that all over again, especially because it'll be a LOT harder to gather all the required stuff now that basically none of my friends are playing the game!

I don't want to lose egg. I love egg. It represents all the work I put into it, and I'd be sad to lose all of that. But it's also an albatross around my neck, dragging me down. Maybe I should just cut myself free.

Option Two: Renovate The Island

Tom gets it.
Tom gets it. (Image: Nintendo Life)

This option is probably the one with the best easiness-to-rewardness ratio, and the thing I've seen a few people on social media doing. I get to keep all my stuff, but I pick a couple of "sections" of my island to re-do. I already have a couple in mind: the graveyard, which is cool, but a bit mechanically useless, and the outdoor pizza restaurant, which is cute in theory, but no one ever uses it.

I could even — as a few of my friends have — terraform everything back down to a flat island and redecorate with fresh new ideas. This is the ideal scenario, if I only had time — I could build cafés, restaurants, and playgrounds, and with the update... they would actually be useable.

However, I know how much work this would be. Terraforming in-game is a pain in the butt, and I don't miss it. Having to go back and forth with my tiny inventory to put things away also sounds like a nightmare, like trying to bring in the groceries one item at a time. No, thanks. There's the new storage shed, of course, which might help... but I'd have to find and buy it first.

This took ages and I don't want to do it again
This took ages and I don't want to do it again (Image: Nintendo Life)

And apparently, I've forgotten all the controls, which makes redecorating a bit tricky. While exploring the other day, it took me ten minutes to put a floor pattern back where it was, after I accidentally erased it. It's hard at the best of times to get ACNH to do what you want. It's damn near impossible when you can't remember how to do things.

Also, my island was laid out on purpose to have things exactly where I want them, and if I re-purposed that space for a farm or a Gyroid choir, it might not actually get to be where I really want it. The graveyard, for example, is tucked away in the top-left, and my Gyroids deserve better than that, no? [How about getting the gyroids in the sea where they belong? - Ed]

Option Three: Live With It

How I feel when someone tells me to live with the consequences of my decisions
How I feel when someone tells me to live with the consequences of my decisions (Image: Nintendo Life)

If I really don't fancy redecorating or making new space, I could always just... live with the things I've created. I know that the sunk cost fallacy is telling me that I can't destroy things I spent so long making, which is silly, but also... I have a looooot less time now to play ACNH than I did when it came out. When it came out, I was working 4-day weeks! And I was stuck inside! It was a free-for-all, really.

I guess I could just deal with it, and accept the fact that I'll never be one of those 'aesthetic' Animal Crossing people. Sigh.


Perhaps I could hire Resetti to just bulldoze the entire place overnight... Maybe there could be a terrible storm, and everything except the buildings could just be washed away into the ocean, ridding me of any responsibility.

But the thing is. The. Thing. Is. All of these are exhausting to some degree. I don't want to be too demanding here, but... I wish there was an option to start over and keep everything.

Perhaps I could hire Resetti to just bulldoze the entire place overnight, and all my decorations could just get automatically put back into storage. Maybe there could be a terrible storm, and everything except the buildings could just be washed away into the ocean, ridding me of any responsibility.

Or even, at this point, just a bin. A bin where I can put all my useless DIYs. PLEASE.

There is, perhaps, an Option Four: Denial. I could just refuse to acknowledge my island, and dive into the Happy Home Paradise DLC content instead, decorating the islands and homes of other characters and living vicariously through them. Who knows, it might even re-invigorate my desire to renovate my own island!

Denial! It's great!
Denial! It's great! (Image: Nintendo Life)

There's no one right answer, though. Every option is a little bit of work at best, and a lot of work at worst. And, well, games shouldn't really feel like work (unless you want them to). But tell me... what's your plan? Have you already started? How's it going? And what should I do?

How will you be preparing for the update?

We'll all find out what we're made of when the update comes out on 5th November, but for now, tell me about your experience with dusting off your village in the comments!