'Animal Crossing' updates send Mario and Hello Kitty to Carnival

The Carnival update gets things started on January 28th.


You can’t attend Carnival in Rio de Janeiro (or anywhere, really) due to the pandemic, but Nintendo thinks it can bring the celebration to you. It’s releasing an Animal Crossing: New Horizons Festivale update on January 28th that delivers that Brazilian flair to your virtual island. You’ll get access to suitably flashy attire from the Able Sisters starting February 1st, while the flamboyant bird Pavé will kick off the Festivale event on February 15th. You’ll be asked to catch floating feathers and trade them for a “passionate dance number.”

There will also be a host of seasonal items beyond the Carnival theme, including Valentine’s Day goodies as well as Groundhog Day and Super Bowl items.

Nintendo has also hinted at big collaborations in the future. Target stores will sell a $6 Animal Crossing pack of Amiibo cards on March 26th that brings Hello Kitty to your island, including new villagers (not Hello Kitty herself, alas) and themed furniture. In a video, Nintendo also teased a Super Mario Bros. collaboration coming with a free update in March.

There will be plenty to do by the game’s first birthday, then. That underscores Nintendo’s commitment to Animal Crossing on the Switch, but might also be important when the game is still a panacea for gamers stuck at home during the pandemic.