Animal Crossing’s next update brings the Carnival-inspired holiday Festivale to your island, with new items to collect, animals to befriend, and more.
An Animal Crossing: New Horizons trailer released today provides the date for the title’s next holiday, Festivale. Since the game’s release in March of 2020, Nintendo has provided a series of video trailers and free updates every few months that bring new items and events for players to experience. Because the game runs in real time and the seasons change, many of the events are based on real-world holidays, including Halloween, Thanksgiving, and “Toy Day” (Christmas). Nintendo’s goal in locking the seasons behind timed updates is to prevent other players from using the controversial, though legitimate, “time-skip” method to spoil the events of future holidays for other players. Activating holidays at certain points during the year means that all players experience the holiday when Nintendo intended.
Festivale, based on the real Brazilian holiday of Carnival, was first included as a holiday in Animal Crossing: New Leaf. Players could meet the flamboyant peacock Pavé and earn a themed furniture collection by completing his requests, just like many of the other holiday visitors. Festivale is an attempt by Nintendo to globalize the holidays in their game – in the original Animal Crossing, the events were based mainly on Japanese and American holidays. As the series began to reach a larger audience, Nintendo incorporated other fun and engaging holidays into the cute life sim series, creating new characters for players to meet in the process.
The most recent New Horizons trailer provides the date for this year’s Festivale: February 15, in both the northern and southern hemispheres. The update will be available on January 28, well before the actual holiday, so fans will have time to download it before the events begin. It confirms that players will be able to meet Pavé and celebrate with other animals in their town, who will wear festive outfits and feathers for the occasion. Fans can participate by gathering colored feathers with their nets and giving them to Pavé, who will presumably give out new recipes that they can use to craft themed items. Players will also have access to new outfits, accessories, and emotes, allowing them to dance along with their villagers. At the end of the trailer, Nintendo teased the next update, which is scheduled for March and seems to be Mario-themed.
Though many are happy to mirror the real world in their towns, some players have been complaining about “intrusive” holidays and bemoaning the lack of “quality” furniture and decorations available in the game. Many have pointed to Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp‘s cute and interesting furniture designs as examples of what should be available in New Horizons – an interesting take, considering that the game is otherwise criticized for being boring, repetitive, and a cash grab by Nintendo. None of the craftable Festivale items are revealed in the trailer, so players will have to see for themselves whether Nintendo has listened to their requests.
The game has been out for a year now, meaning that Nintendo has covered most of the real-world holidays they intend to include in the game. The release of Festivale acts almost as a goodbye to the game relying solely on events that mirror the real world; going forward, holidays will likely be joined by crossover events or short-term “collect-a-thons,” which is what the Mario event seems to be. While these can be fun and could provide unique items for players to collect and craft, it’s also another opportunity for Nintendo to advertise, which doesn’t always go so well. If Nintendo can’t make unique events outside of real-world holidays in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, players may retreat to Pocket Camp just to find aesthetically-pleasing furniture.
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