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Twelve months of turnips, K.K. Slider, and more

It took less than a year for Animal Crossing: New Horizons to become one of the Nintendo Switch’s defining games. Launching around the same time that millions of people were forced inside due to the pandemic, and with a new design philosophy meant to shake up the series, the game became a cultural phenomenon. It turned into a social space where millions — from streetwear enthusiasts to museums to movie stars to talk show hosts — could relax in a calm, quiet virtual world. As the community continued to find new and inventive ways to play, Nintendo steadily updated New Horizons with new features and content. It’s gone on to sell more than 30 million copies to date — and it doesn’t look like things will slow down anytime soon.

Twelve months in, the game is a quieter, but still comforting, experience

It’s hard to believe that such a pure, wholesome game could become an object of dread

A deep catalog of quirky songs that lightened up a bleak year

The challenge of documenting a virtual world

It’s been quite a year

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