'Animal Crossing: New Horizons' with swimming and diving comes at the right time

Gieson Cacho
The Mercury News
Players can jump in the water with the "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" update coming July 3. (Nintendo)

Nintendo has impeccable timing. Just when "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" was on the verge of going stale with the lack of new content, the developer recently announced a July 3 update that adds major new features.

The most obvious one is swimming and diving. It's an option that appeared previously in "Animal Crossing: New Leaf" and will make its debut on the Nintendo Switch title. Players will need to grab a wet suit so they can swim and dive around their islands. Players can't go far but they can hug the coast and find new sea creatures to add to their museum and perhaps terrify Blathers.

Along with swimming, Pascal, a red sea otter, will make an appearance in "New Horizons." He loves scallops and if players find one, they can trade it to him for mermaid-themed crafting recipes.

Lastly, Gulliver has a wardrobe change. He's dressed more like a pirate and helping him will get players a special reward. Although his tasks to find his communicator pieces are redundant at times, they are essential to getting the golden shovel as a reward. Seeing Gulliver washed up on the beach is a good thing.

Taken all together, "New Horizons" looks like it will continue to keep fans busy. Being able to swim opens up new opportunities for exploration and new ways to make more Bells, the game's in-game currency.

The feature will probably motivate some players to redesign their island and take advantage of the rocky shore and pier, which look like starting points for swimming. The feature itself looks as if it's done well with the game switching to an overhead perspective so players can dive to the bottom and pick up red starfish and other critters.

With the free update, it will keep players hooked on the experience. Personally, I've been looking for a new project on the island after finally paying my last home loan to capitalist monster Tom Nook and building an arcade. With a new area to explore, "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" will continue to keep me busy during summer or at least until the next update, which is expected in August.

Data miners have found some interesting tidbits about possible future updates including the possibility of fruits and vegetables, seafood, cooking and a third upgrade to Nook's Cranny. It looks as though my decision to build a restaurant row on my island could pay off.