Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ Dream Islands have many wasted opportunities for player collaboration and exploration throughout the dreamscape.

The Animal Crossing: New Horizons Dream Suite was implemented into the game in its 1.4 patch. It offers a method of visiting other islands, or allowing friends to visit the player’s island, without making hours of hard work vulnerable to destruction and chaos. Each island was given a Dream Address that could be entered upon sleeping in a bed, and could then be explored until the player wished to leave. At first it seemed that the Dream Suite would continue to develop risk-free avenues for island exploration and decoration, but since its implementation it has seen little growth.

While ACNH failed to make an appearance at E3, fans of the game have been assured that the project has not been abandoned and will receive further updates. While there are many activities that have been added in other updates in Animal Crossing, rarely have they applied to Dream Islands. There are even some commonplace mechanics such as harvesting fruit and fishing that have yet to appear. The limitations of Animal Crossing’s Dream Suite has kept it from reaching its full potential, and left it as an abandoned mechanic rarely utilized by the playerbase when compared to other events.

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Related: What New Activities Animal Crossing New Horizons’ Update Should Add

Dream Islands can capture snapshots of player islands at the moment they are recorded, no matter the changes that are made in the waking world. However, there is a feature that is absent from dreamscapes that would greatly benefit players looking to create their perfect island, and that is featuring Villagers who have moved out. While Animal Crossing depends heavily on RNG (especially for Villagers), being able to talk to departed Villagers in their dreams and convince them to move back would lighten the load on many players who accidentally found themselves sending away a beloved neighbor. While their houses don’t need to be accessible, the opportunity to reconnect with relocated Villagers would be a nice safety net for players looking to retrieve an old friend.

ACNH Could Let Players Decorate Dream Islands Together

Animal Crossing Pearl Decoration

One of the core mechanics of Animal Crossing is the process of designing islands, homes, and towns. ACNH expanded on this exponentially by implementing a fully fledged crafting system that was received positively by fans. Unfortunately, the sheer number of items could become a little overwhelming, and the limited space on ACNH’s islands can prevent players from pursuing all the designs they want to. By updating Animal Crossing’s Dream Islands to act more as multiplayer collaboration, it could remove some of the stress. Being able to venture into dreams with other players and modify designs together would offer players a more collaborative playstyle. When players have ideas of designs or scenes they want to make but don’t have enough space, the dream could be the perfect solution.

A popular Animal Crossing pastime is the catching of bugs and fish. Creature spawns would not be difficult to replicate within the Dream Suite, and could expand on the number of specimens available in the Animal Crossing museums. Seeing as the current collection of specimens is restricted to creatures that exist in real life, allowing players to catch specimens on Dream Islands could introduce creatures that don’t exist. Catching a dragonfly that resembles an actual dragon, or diving down to retrieve a young kraken or sea serpent, could liven up the exhibits on display in the museum.

Ultimately, Dream Islands in Animal Crossing have a massive amount of potential but fail to deliver on many possibilities. The concept of providing a safe snapshot of one’s island is a noble one, but without the accompanying activities there is little incentive to continuously venture back into the Dream Suit. Designs and styles can be shared through the Design Kiosk at the Abel Sisters, or browsed online. By implementing new features to improve the state of Animal Crossing, like introducing sandbox islands, retrieving Villagers, or catching mystical fish and bugs, players would be given further incentive to continuously explore different Dream Islands.

Next: Animal Crossing’s Best Perspective Design Tricks

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