New Leaf’s Most Charming Feature Should Return in the Next Animal Crossing


  • The next Animal Crossing game could embrace nostalgia by bringing back beloved mini-games from Animal Crossing: New Leaf, providing a nostalgic experience for seasoned players.
  • Incorporating these mini-games could fill the co-op void in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, catering to players who enjoyed the multiplayer elements of previous games.
  • Adding more activities, such as mini-games, to the next Animal Crossing title could address criticisms of New Horizons lacking replayability and provide a more engaging experience for players.

Given the enduring success of the Animal Crossing franchise, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until Nintendo announces a release date for the next game. After all, rumors have been circulating for quite some time now that the next Animal Crossing game will debut with a new console, though this has yet to be confirmed. If the proposed 2024 timeframe for the release of the “Switch 2” console can be trusted, it’s plausible that a fresh addition to the Animal Crossing series could be introduced this year.

Should a new Animal Crossing installment be in the works, it could be beneficial to incorporate one beloved feature from Animal Crossing: New Leaf that didn’t fully make its way to New Horizons. Interestingly, while the absence of themed mini-games in New Horizons was noticeably lacking for veteran players, newcomers to the franchise may not have been aware of them at all. Regardless, for an infusion of playful charm, Nintendo should consider reintroducing this feature.


The Next Animal Crossing Can Make Nighttime More Interesting By Bringing Back a Fun Feature

Many Animal Crossing players spend their time playing at night, so the next entry in the series should bring back a feature to improve nighttime.

Animal Crossing Could Embrace The Nostalgia of New Leaf

Mini-Games Could Fill The Co-Op Void of New Horizons

Animal Crossing New Leaf Mini Game

Curiously, while certain enthusiasts of New Leaf have fondly reminisced about its mini-games, it appears some players of the 2012 title didn’t realize they were actually available. Granted, New Leaf boasted several hidden and charming surprises, so even highly dedicated players could miss a few activities. This is especially true considering some of the mini-games originated from Amiibo Festival, an Animal Crossing virtual board game akin to Mario Party, which performed poorly when it debuted in 2015.

Even so, being able to play nostalgic mini-games, alongside some new ones, could be an incredibly exciting feature in the next Animal Crossing title. While a solid game in its own right, New Horizons could have done more with multiplayer. As such, bringing back beloved mini-games like Balloon Hunt, Hide-and-Seek, and Item Matching wouldn’t just spark nostalgic joy but could also cater to those who enjoyed the co-op elements of the series.

Being able to play nostalgic mini-games, alongside some new ones, could be an incredibly exciting feature in the next Animal Crossing title.

The Next Animal Crossing Can Benefit From Adding More Activities

Desert Island Escape

Throughout 2023, whispers of a potential New Horizons update kept Animal Crossing fans on their toes. Many hoped for the return of several beloved mini-games from New Leaf, but as months ticked by, it didn’t seem like New Horizons would be getting a surprise update after all. Of course, this doesn’t mean Nintendo couldn’t still implement its fans’ wishes in a successor, especially since the 2020 game was criticized for its lack of replayability.

For reference, New Leaf was home to a wide variety of different mini-games. This list includes, but isn’t necessarily limited to:

  • Desert Island Escape: explore a deserted island, gather resources, and build a raft to escape
  • Tortimer Island Tours: bug-catching, fishing, fossil-hunting
  • Puzzle League: match colored blocks, reminiscent of Tetris
  • Treasure Hunt: follow clues to locate buried bells
  • Fruit Basket: catch falling fruits from trees
  • Balloon Pop: pop Animal Crossing balloons with a slingshot to receive prizes
  • Hide-and-Seek: a time event where players must find villagers hidden around town
  • Fishing Tourney: a timed event where players attempt to catch the largest fish possible
  • Bug-Offs: a timed event where players attempt to catch the rarest insect possible
  • K.K. Slider’s Saturday Night Live: a rhythm game

For seasoned players, reliving the joy of classic mini-games from New Leaf on the Switch could be a welcome homecoming. Additionally, for those who never got to experience them, this could provide a fully-fledged co-op experience that New Horizons‘ players desperately craved. With New Leaf‘s dedicated community standing as a fond testament to the charm of its mini-games, borrowing these elements for the next chapter might just be a stroke of genius.

animal crossing new horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is the fifth major game in the Animal Crossing series. This slice-of-life simulation game tasks the player with developing an abandoned island into a small town for its resident villagers. The game was released at the start of worldwide lockdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which catapulted it into massive success. It’s currently the best selling game of all time in Japan.

March 20, 2020

Nintendo EPD



E for Everyone: Comic Mischief

How Long To Beat
61 Hours

Online Multiplayer , Local Multiplayer

Animal Crossing: New Horizons — Happy Home Paradise