Another month, another update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons—but the May/June update appears to be fleshing out familiar events instead of rocking the game’s foundations.
Nintendo announced the next update, due on April 28th, 2021 on the official Animal Crossing website today. Like last month’s prom-themed announcement, this bucks the established trend of using short trailers to highlight new content.
May and June sees the return of the three annual events included in the game’s first updates—May Day, International Museum Day, and Wedding Season. Each appears to be subtly expanded from their original incarnations, but only to include a few new items each.
May Day is a brief event that will be available from April 29 through May 7. Animal Crossing players will receive a single-use May Day ticket to tour a unique island. Last year, the event challenged players to navigate a maze, using only the items found within. The ultimate prize was meeting Rover, the cat who asked new users questions at the start of previous Animal Crossing games, and receiving his briefcase as a prize.
Judging by screenshots attached to the update announcement, it appears the maze has been refreshed and updated for its return, but Rover remains the goal. Whether his role, or the item he rewards you with, has been changed or not; remains to be seen.
The Stamp Rally will kick off on International Museum Day, May 18, and run until the end of the month. Blathers will set up stamp booths throughout the museum and hand out stamp cards. Visit each booth to fill your card and earn prizes. Completing each wing of the museum—fish, bugs, and fossils—rewarded players with a corresponding plaque last year, but the 2021 edition will also include the art wing, which had just been added last spring alongside the original May Day update.
Again, the event appears to be the same, just with the addition of fine art. Last year’s iteration allowed players to win each plaque each day, making the event only worth doing once for most people, but perhaps Nintendo will do something to keep the event interesting through its two-week duration.
The third event included in Animal Crossing New Horizon‘s update is the return of the wedding season event. Reese and Cyrus will return to Harv’s Island and be available for the whole month of June. Players can help them commemorate their wedding anniversary by participating in daily photo shoots, satisfying certain criteria in order to earn Heart Crystals for wedding-themed items.
There appear to be several new items added to Nook Shopping, beyond the items exchanged by the couple, particularly a set of “nuptial” items including a bell, ring pillow, and doorplate. These should help fill in some gaps missing from the original “wedding” set.
Rounding out the update are some unspecified seasonal items available through Nook Shopping. Last year’s items for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and International Children’s day will return, alongside new regional specialties like cheese rolling.
Those expecting substantial expansions to the Switch’s bestselling game may feel a little underwhelmed by this update. By comparison, at this time last year Nintendo added the same events alongside two new daily vendors, Leif and Redd, and the art expansion for the museum. However, historically Animal Crossing games have not seen regular updates to yearly occasions such as these. New Leaf broke the seal of having updates with its Welcome Amiibo update, and simply added more content, rather than refining what was already there like New Horizons.
If last year’s schedule is anything to go by, this will likely be the last update until the end of June or start of July. The July 3, 2020 update brought Pascal, Gullivarrr, and diving, another considerable gameplay expansion.