By: Casea Smith | @coffeewithkrow
There was a teaser release announcing that there will be more information in October about Brewster’s return to Animal Crossing New Horizons. If you have been keeping up with all of the data mining news that has been coming out for the past couple of months, this comes as no surprise to you.
If you’re like me, this news comes as a relief because it’s official–Brewster’s coming to ACNH. So, while we all sit and wait, drinking our coffee and listening to Brewster’s café music on YouTube, I want to add my two cents on the whole thing.
Leading up to this moment, most people who have played any of the previous Animal Crossing games that included this lovable bird, have been begging and pleading for Brewster to come back to New Horizons. With that, came a slew of other comments trying to remind people that this café-pigeon is not the cure for New Horizons’ shortcomings. I agree that it isn’t. However, as a fan of the franchise since the very first Animal Crossing was released, I think nay-sayers underestimate the kind of impact Brewster has on the community.
Actually, I would argue that he encapsulates what the game represents at its core. You can play Animal Crossing for as many hours as you want, but generally what happens is you end up in the lull of doing your daily activities for 20 minutes and being done until tomorrow. By design, you naturally get into that groove of short bursts of gameplay each day. It starts to become like any other daily routine you have, like brushing your teeth before leaving the house or, you know, a cup of coffee in the morning.
You see, Animal Crossing is built on doing “mundane” things like talking to people, shaking trees, and paying off debt. But in real life, there is no guaranteed sense of calm, safety, or even freedom you get from life on the island of your design. In the Roost, Brewster’s café, you are immediately enveloped with the chill and iconic theme. You can practically smell the coffee as you ruminate about in the calming atmosphere.
Setting aside the self for a moment, the most important element of Animal Crossing at its core is the community. The game was first created to give the player a sense of building a community in an unfamiliar place and that may be hard for players who only ever see the main NPCs working on an island so small, and the other NPCs only walking around stores with vague interest much of the time. It is as though they are all completely in a daze, turning their attention to you when you walk by (are you feeling the anxiety yet?) or need them for something.
When you enter the Roost, you have a chance to see a villager hanging out (you can almost imagine the conversations between them and Brewster), or a main NPC taking a coffee break. In New Leaf there was even a mini game where you would help Brewster with orders. Everyone has their specific taste in coffee, like how much cream or sugar they want, and you’re able to memorize it over time, which makes each customer happy. The sense of community in Animal Crossing is exemplified by the Roost, and it is what I feel is missing from New Horizons.
Of course, Brewster isn’t the end all be all of Animal Crossing, it won’t stop the complaints people have (as it shouldn’t) about other aspects of the game. However, bringing Brewster back, in my opinion, is a show of good faith to those nostalgia ridden complaints of players missing old furniture sets and events of the past. It’s a sign of rebuilding the soul of Animal Crossing that many returning players feel isn’t there in New Horizons.
So no, Brewster is not the solution to all of the game’s problems. BUT it is a huge step in the right direction.