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Animal Crossing: New Horizons[a] is a 2020 life simulation video game developed and published by Nintendo for the Nintendo Switch. It is the fifth main series title in the Animal Crossing series. New Horizons was released in all regions on March 20, 2020.
In New Horizons, the player assumes the role of a customizable character who moves to a deserted island after purchasing a package from Tom Nook, a tanuki character who has appeared in every entry in the Animal Crossing series. Taking place in real-time, the player can explore the island in a nonlinear fashion, gathering and crafting items, catching insects and fish, and developing the island into a community of anthropomorphic animals.
New Horizons received acclaim from critics, with many praising its gameplay and customization options. It sold five million digital copies in its first month, breaking the console game record for most digital units sold in a single month. It became the best-selling game in the Animal Crossing series and the second best-selling game on the Nintendo Switch, with over 22 million units sold. Its success has been partially attributed to its release during the COVID-19 pandemic, with players seeking a sense of escapism amid worldwide stay-at-home orders.