pantherlike and her favourite villager /jk
As some of you may have seen from my comments, my hobby at the moment is messing about with the multiplayer aspect of ACNH and coming up with new games and party themes to make visits more fun than just raiding your best friend for cherries again.
As suggested by kjesta, I've compiled some of my best and brightest ideas (and one that needs improvement, I'll be honest) into a post for everyone to reference! I love hearing about exciting things people do with their game, so if you end up doing any of these, please let me know!
A few of these ideas do allow you to have the connection of a common goal without requiring island visits, so don't fret if you don't have Nintendo Online, there's something for you too!
Long post ahead, so I've put each mini game under a cut.
[Flames On The Side Of My Face]
There are no deaths in Animal Crossing NH (or, at least, no murder), but I will certainly try to create some. This is one of the more elaborate ideas, as it takes a great deal of planning and supplies. My version is modelled off Cluedo at the moment, since constructing a more intricate mystery and determining how to play it was too frustrating.
How to Play:
This is elaborate and tailored to my friend group, but you can take this premise and do just about anything with it.
You have to construct your narrative before you do anything else. Decide who was killed (you, the host, is always the best idea), who did it, with what (for the sake of simplicity, make it a basic tool! Strangled by fishing line, axed by an axe, etc), and if you want, where on the island (if you choose to make this approach, make sure you pre-divide your island into areas and make a map available - this works best for parties who have a group chat outside of the AC servers).
Choose your clues: they should hint at the three/four questions. For example: a piece of furniture from the victim’s home, the native fruit of the murderer, the murder weapon, and a shell (indicating the victim was killed on the beach).
The day before the party, send your players mail: state who their character is (if you decide to have set characters), give them a piece of information that will help them solve the mystery (such as the location of a clue), what you need them to bring, and, if you want, a costume. Also, obviously, tell the murderer they’re the murderer.
Prepare your island: place the clues. Make liberal use of the bulletin board, gift wrap, and item burial.
Play in rounds: each round, the players have two options, going in order of who arrived to the island first (or whatever you choose). The first option is to ask another player a yes or no question (is your native fruit oranges? Did you own a pear bed?) that they must answer truthfully. The other option is to look for a clue, which ends when they player finds the clue or two minutes pass. They can only take one clue at a time, and can choose whether or not to share with everyone. (If everyone's cagey with their clues, the murderer wins, so play smart!)
When a player believes that they have solved the mystery, they may make their guess. (best when done to a non AC group chat.) if correct, the game ends. If incorrect, they’re eliminated. If, at the end, all players are eliminated but the murderer, they win the prize.
[Mmm Whatcha Say]Timed Hide and Go Seek:
While hide and go seek is limited by your island and won’t necessarily be difficult, making it a time challenge can add the sense of competition back to it!
How to Play:
One person is seeking at a time. The host will be timekeeper by default for ease, but you can talk to your friends and plan accordingly.
The seeker will enter the resident services tent (or building, depending on the host’s progress) and give the hiders one minute to “hide.” They must announce when they’re going.
After they’ve found a player, that player must return to the town square. When all players have been found, the clock stops, and the process begins again with a new seeker.
At the end, the player with the fastest time wins. (Prize individually determined!)
[If You Want Me, Find Me]Ultimate Scavenger Hunt:
This is a two parter, as it requires players both find items and find their host. That's what makes it ultimate!
How to Play:
Before everyone arrives, the host will leave a list of items across one or two notes on their bulletin board, as well as a drawing that conveys where they'll be located during the challenge. Getting creative with the items is the best way to play: something crafted, certain types of fish or bugs, a specific fruit or flower, a message in a bottle, so on.
Once players believe they've collected the most items they can, they must find the host to tell them, which is the second half of the game. You can choose the winner by time or most items found.
This one is easily modified and can become hyper-specific: a fish-only hunt could take an hour and a half. People could come in and out of the island if you expand it to be multi island and require they bring things from their islands. It's malleable!
[Tens Tens Tens Across The Board]Ten Item Challenge:
You ever seen *Chopped*? This is AC furniture *Chopped*, basically. It’s best played in a tournament format and can have an unlimited number of players, so people without Nintendo Online can participate. (Though they may go unrewarded if they win.)
How to Play:
The contest host chooses a room design theme (this can be anything, from “kitchen” to “undersea mermaid palace” to “sidewalk café”) and each player may use only 10 items (non default walls and flooring are counted as an item each) to make an arrangement that fits the theme. They then submit their picture, and everyone playing votes.
This format can be played with a lot, so it’s quite nice as a multiplayer activity that doesn’t actually require any real travelling but still allows you to be social!
You can also do the same format with a custom design challenge.
[Walk Walk Fashion Baby]Fashion Contest:
While similar to the Ten Item Challenge, this one can be played on a host’s island, and gives everyone a chance to show off their style!
How to Play:
Players arrive to the island with a full inventory of clothing (if they don’t have much clothing, they may want to wait, or reduce the number of rounds.)
The host and judge will announce a theme (from “beach day” to “wedding day” to “dress like your favourite villager”) and the contestants will strut their stuff.
Again, you can play with the format: require a certain item (like, “everyone must wear a hat”) or have custom designs only or have a judging panel, it’s your choice!
[X Marks The Spot]Treasure Hunt:
The credit for this one goes to my dear Lizard. She was the one who inspired my thinking about how to make multiplayer more interesting, so all my love (as usual) goes to her! This is a good one to play with just one person, but can be played with everyone.
How to Play:
One player (or several) brings a wrapped gift to the island, and hides it somewhere on the island. They then leave a message on the bulletin board regarding its location.
Fairly simple, but very, very fun!
[I Would Do Whatever Isabelle Says I Should Do]Isabelle Says:
It’s the classic "Simon Says", but with our favourite pup involved! To be really fun, this requires some group coordination to move together.
How to Play:
The directions are pretty simple for this one. Everyone gathers somewhere where the "Isabelle" can see them, and has tools prepared. Then, the Isabelle calls out commands, but the caveat is that they must say "Isabelle says [do activity]", and if a player does the activity without "Isabelle says" in front of it, they're eliminated. They can also be eliminated if they don't do what Isabelle says, so standing still won't work!
You can modify this in several ways: Isabelle says catch a small shadow fish, for example, eliminating anyone who doesn't get one in the allotted time. Isabelle says get me a piece of furniture.
[Present Roulette - Rihanna]Present Roulette:
My friends and I always bring each other presents when we visit each other’s islands, and present roulette adds a new dimension to gift giving.
How to Play:
At their homes, every player selects an item that they believe to be good — whether because it’s valuable, required seasonal materials, or comes from a travelling merchant, it’s their choice.
The host chooses one object they believe to be “useless” or less valuable. All items in the game except lost items or Gulliver parts, I believe, do have value, and supplies are more valuable than you would think, but it’s more fun when it’s a unique crafted item. (for example, I have a kettlebells recipe that doesn’t fit my aesthetic, and I’d choose that as the “bad” gift.)
Upon arrival at the island, each player is given the official wrapping paper (from the host). You can either require every player purchases it at book’s cranny, or provide it, and each player wraps their gift then drops the paper for the next player to pick up.
Once all gifts have been wrapped, they’re deposited for the host to pick up, and the host will then place them in no real order (it doesn’t matter if players witness the placing or not, since they won’t know which gift the host is dropping).
One by one, the players will choose a gift, with the host last.
Then, everyone opens their gifts, and you all get to laugh at the person who got the host’s. (or not!)
[Boo Tag, AC Edition]Good Old Fashioned Tag, But It's Actually the Mario Party DS Mini Game Boo Tag:
This has the twist of requiring the person who is “it” wear a shirt designating them so. The shirt will then be exchanged between players, who must put it on when they're tagged.
How to Play:
The person who is "it" will wear a specific shirt, and chase the other players around the island. Once they catch a player, they make them "it" instead, and can take off the shirt and leave it on the ground for that player to pick up and put on. Really simple!
[I Am Waiting For It, That Red Light, Green Light]Red Light Green Light But Make It Cover A Whole Island:
A new twist on an old playground classic, this is a team game and is best done with eight players.
How to Play:
Assign teams. If you want to go the distance, the day before, send each player a shirt or other piece of clothing that matches that of the others on their team. If not, inform them of their team and select a captain for each team. (I really recommend matching shirts though.)
This is island layout dependent. Pair off (with one person from each team in the pair) and have two players on each corner of the island. No one is allowed to hold any objects at the start.
Starting with one team, their captain will type “go”, and the players of their teams must attempt to run for an agreed upon landmark (a building or the square are good choices) as the other member of the pair follows them. The other team captain may call “stop” whenever they want, and all of the players must stop where they are. However, if they choose to keep going, they won’t be out unless they are still moving by the time their pair partner also says an agreed upon, unique stop phrase.
(This is mostly self policing and relies on your friends not to cheat or help each other cheat.)
This can be made more elaborate if running for an object gets boring, but the main difficulty is ensuring eliminations. Players will have to think carefully about how much further they can go before their partner says the phrase. They must honour the game and eliminate themselves if they’re still moving but their partner doesn’t see.
If you have any ideas for improving this one, let me know!
Sources: my brain, my friends, image source (a screenshot from my game)
(Sorry this post isn't prettily formatted and for the lack of pictures! I just wanted to get it out ASAP 😊 And sorry for the first post mods, I thought I had one!)