Entertainment

Animal Crossing's Nature Day Event Is Already So Much Better Than Bunny Day

Leif the sloth can kick Zipper the bunny's butt.

animal crossing
It's your new favorite visitor, Leif! | Nintendo
It's your new favorite visitor, Leif! | Nintendo

Depending on how far you've time-traveled, Animal Crossing: New Horizons sticks pretty close to our own real-world calendar, which means that events that happen in reality will probably also have corresponding events and challenges in the game. Animal Crossing's first event was Bunny Day, a two week-long nondenominational holiday themed to Easter which lasted from April 1 to April 12, where players were challenged by a yellow rabbit named Zipper to craft Bunny Day clothes, furniture, and accessories out of colorful eggs that would emerge from bashed rocks, shaken down from trees, annoyingly caught in bodies or water, shot down from the sky, or dug up from the ground. The game's newest event, the two week-long Nature Day, which lasts from April 23 until May 4, is already so much more fun, as it introduces new visitors to your island and, instead of eggs, offers you new plants, including flowers you might not have yet, to grow in your green spaces.

Here's the thing: Bunny Day sucked. People hated it, and not least because it corresponded nearly exactly with the much more aesthetically pleasing cherry blossom season, when the hardwood trees on our island sprouted fluffy pink flowers, discarding cherry blossom leaves, and looked, generally, amazing. But good luck crafting all your pretty cherry blossom stuff once Bunny Day rolled around and ruined everything, hiding eggs in dumb places, replacing cherry blossom recipes with egg recipes, and making a nuisance of itself. Catching a fish? Nope, it's an egg. Shooting a present down from the sky? Nope, it's an egg. Digging up a fossil? Nope, egg. The egg outfits were bad, but the furniture was worse, and not something that I would ever allow to soil the floors of my new house, but at least I could sell them all to Timmy and Tommy in an act of defiance when it was all over. 

animal crossing
Terrible terrible TERRIBLE. | Nintendo

Like all things must, Zipper's reign of terror ended at last, and players had a couple weeks of rest before Animal Crossing's next event was announced. Corresponding loosely with Earth Day (the event continues for 12 days after Earth Day, which was Wednesday), Nature Day introduces new plants, new DIY recipes, and an adorable new character into the game. Leif, a tiny, rosy-cheeked sloth, stands outside Resident Services hawking his wares, which include shrubs like azalea and hydrangea, and the seeds of rarer flowers like mums, cosmos, and lilies, and filling out your Nook Miles cards gets you extra recipes for things like hedges. In short, it's GREAT. Leif is CUTE, the flowers are PRETTY, and the whole thing is actually useful to modifying your island in the long term, rather than stuff you make for one day and then feel the need to get rid of afterward. Having Bunny Day tables in your house after Bunny Day is over just feels… wrong. 

Nature Day has only been going on for a day, and players are already in love, having fun growing their new plants and seeing what color flowers bloom. 

Plus, there's a nice Earth Day-centric message to it all, promoting growing plants to help the environment (morally good, nice looking), rather than gathering eggs and making weird outfits (ugly, only serves Zipper's interests). Anything to get us all (virtually) out of the house for a bit. 

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.