Bamby & Benny Kong in Animal Crossing

My First 100 Hours in Animal Crossing New Horizons – The Rise of BK Isle

Animal Crossing New Horizons is Different

It does not happen to me that I’m playing a video game every day – almost as a routine -, without even noticing how much time I actually invest in the game and how little I actually achieve. In most of the games I play I’m looking for challenges and want to achieve something: master the level, find all collectibles, discover secret areas, beat bosses, win races, or solve puzzles. Usually, when playing my favorite video game series such as Mario, Donkey Kong, Zelda, Banjo-Kazooie, or Yooka-Laylee, I’m always getting to a point where the game feels like a challenge. In a fun way for sure, but nevertheless competitive in such a way, that I cannot relax while playing after a long working day or on the weekends, which usually requires some warm-up time to get back into the controls to play as efficiently as you were a few days ago.

So when for instance attempting to master the “Final Kingdom” in Super Mario Odyssey*, “The Darker Side”, or trying to beat “The Impossible Lair” (the OG version) in Yooka-Laylee and The Impossible Lair*, I had to ban my girlfriend from the living room because I needed full concentration. So understandable, that you cannot relax with such challenging video game moments when being exhausted. But Animal Crossing New Horizons (ACNH) is different and fills exactly this void for me personally: Playing a video game in a relaxing atmosphere without the necessity to time jumps accurately or to study different patterns or hit zones of enemies in order to proceed.

In the following blog post I’d like to take you on a journey through my first 100 hours in ACNH and share my personal highlights. You might all have experienced similar scenes on your island, but in these difficult days where staying home is the recommended option, moments where we can walk and meet freely digitally, can be much more appreciated. Please note that the article may contain spoilers, although I’ll not focus on the storyline.

Benny Kong’s Arrival on BK Isle

What a crazy coincidence! How does the game know that me, Benny Kong who is supposed to be a Kong, coming directly from the Donkey Kong universe, provides me with two other monkeys as my fellow villagers? No better neighbors than Flip and Rocket!

Tent Mornings

Can you remember “them days”, waking up to the sound of your brand-new Hi-Fi stereo system was pumping? CD1, track 10? This is what I felt when waking up in my tent on BK Isle the very first morning.

I dreamt I was a cowboy!

Island Life

This is what I’d like to do: Chillax, let the world go by, and play some Nintendo Switch. This picture stands for the majority of my working weeks in March and April 2020: Having a little break with ACNH after all the online meetings were done, spending some minutes on the island, just to get back fresh to the desk to wrap up the working day.

Mabel’s First Visit

…. and there she is! BK Isle definitely needs a bigger variety of clothes to shop than the limited apparel Tim Nook has to offer, so I am happy to see Mabel visiting and having a little merch stand. Flip knows what I’m talking about. 

Drop-Off Box, But Only 80%?

Nahh, not with Benny Kong! I don’t know what your strategy is, but I actually wanted to sell my hard caught bugs or fishes for 100% of the market price, and not only for 80%. So to skip the handling fee and sell for the entire shop trade-in value, I hoarded my valuable goods every night just right in front of Nook’s Cranny …

… or directly near the beach. That’s how you cash in big-time the next morning in Animal Crossing New Horizons!

My First Flight

It was time to do some island hopping and pay the airport a visit. My first trip was actually about visiting my friend Marco’s island, who you may remember from my very first blogpost on Benny Kong. It was super fun! Visiting friends in Animal Crossing New Horizons is actually a wonderful thing – not only because of the difficult times of confinement in current times. Stay tuned, as I’m planning to dedicate an entire blogpost on visiting friends in ACNH.

The Bench

Not only Forrest Gump, but also my villagers consider the bench on BK Island as the perfect spot to have proper chat. In particular in the beginning of the game, since there were not many other attractions on the island, the bench came in handy and was visited frequently.

First Rain on BK Island

Nothing new in The Legend of Zelda – Breath of the Wild*, but in Animal Crossing New Horizons I had to wait almost 2 weeks (although I played daily), to see my first rain. Here you see me posing in front of the newly built Nook’s Cranny.

… or rocking my brand-new, customized designed BK Cap while fishing. Fishing in the rain! Did you know that fishing on a rainy day is the only possibility to catch a Coelacanth? Infamous for being one of the rarest fish in the Animal Crossing series, Coelacanth is back in New Horizons. Another benefit of having rain in ACNH is that you don’t have to water any flowers on a rainy day.

The Museum is Built!

And another highlight – and I don’t mean the exclusive BK shirt that my girlfriend designed kindly for me: After donating sufficient unique creatures to Blathers, the loquacious owl decides to move permanently to the island and upgrades the tent museum into a proper one. That’s how you unlock the museum in Animal Crossing New Horizons*. Splendidly! At the time of writing, I’m considering moving the museum a bit more up north. 

Ain’t No Party as a Rocket Party …

… as a Rocket party dooooon’t stop! I was pleasantly surprised when I entered Rocket’s house to find her celebrating her birthday together with Flip. Too kind that they both even waited for me to kick off the celebrations. 

Let’s get that party started.
Birthday vibes!

A bit of a bummer: As you probably can see from the timestamp: Since I came empty-handed (never got an official invite to the party tho), I quickly left the party to check out my storage in order to find a present for Rocket. By the time I got back to her place, the party stopppped. 

Mystery Island Tours

A great way to refill the stocks on wood, weeds, stones, clay or iron nuggets or even find new types of flowers in ACNH, are Mystery Island Tours. But there is also the chance to find a random villager on these islands, that can be talked into moving to your island as a permanent resident. That’s how I found one of my favorite villagers as of now: Alfonso.

BK is Taking Applications …

… for new villagers to move in. Here I proudly crafted all the required items for a villager after placing the housing kit. Tom Nook was obviously happy with my work. And the fact that I’m literally working for free, but that’s what we all do, don’t we?

You Gotta Love What the Villagers Are Up to

It’s always super nice to discover what your villagers are up to! Here you see Rocket doing some serious weight lifting in the middle of the night. I’m still looking for this dumbbell or her sports jacket. Anybody happen to have a spare jacket in their storage? 

BK Isle Has a New Villager …

… and not only “a” new villager: My girlfriend decided to join BK Isle. After watching me playing for almost a month, and being actually involved in core decisions such as naming the island, placing the first bridge, the museum or Nook’s Crannys, my girlfriend was ready to start her own digital island adventure on the not-so-anymore-deserted-island in Animal Crossing New Horizons. Important side note: Since the launch of the Nintendo Switch on March 3, 2017, my girlfriend played maybe 1 hour in total. So this was indeed a big step and speaks for Animal Crossing New Horizons as a game – and for reaching new target groups.

Bamby & Benny Kong in Animal Crossing

What the hole!

What was that? After playing ACNH for more than a month, there are always surprises and animations I haven’t seen before. Lovely.

Ooppppsie!

Ready for My Second Room

Time to pay that loan and to expand my house, but what to do with the second room? An office, a bedroom? Or a kitchen? I actually still don’t know yet, and that’s why I’m using the room for the time-being to store some items I have some ideas for what to do with. The same applies to the 3rd and 4th room that I already unlocked by the way, haha. 

May Day Tour!

The May Day labyrinth was actually more challenging than expected. I made it to Rover (first trial!), but did not manage to reach all Bell Vouchers. Challenge accepted, labyrinth reset – and playing it for the second time, I was able to be more resourceful with my items in order to reach all Bell Tickets. 

I even developed my own little strategy to save the shovel, but found out later on Twitter, that the shovel will not break while attempting to master the labyrinth anyways.

Save the shovel!

Mabel’s Shop

Part of my daily routine is to visit the Mabel shop to hunt for some new clothes. I really love it and try to combine as many styles as possible. 

And coincidentally my alter ego Benny Kong also likes to match shorts with boots – something my girlfriend tells me every summer, that these two don’t go along …

My Cousin is in Town

I love art and appreciate the Animal Crossing New Horizons May update! The addition of Redd visiting the island once and while is quite fun and I enjoy this little art shopping on his ship.

Resident Services Make-Over

What a great moment! Tom Nook is finally packing his stuff to move in a bigger, proper building. I had to screenshot my last visit to the Resident Services tent and documented the further process. Let’s all welcome Isabelle as the newest member of the Resident Services staff and let’s celebrate the Resident Services upgrade.

Midnight Beach Walks

Loving the walks along the beach during the night! I would not mind also going for a stroll daytime, but most of the time I play Animal Crossing New Horizons* late in the night – after work and dinner. But when the weekend kicks in, I’m looking forward to enjoying the beauty of the island during the daytime. Time to appreciate the sunshine and to put on my digital sun blocker! 

Campside is Built!

I can’t state that I’m a big camping fan myself, but at the moment the campsite is my favorite part of BK island. Another commemorative photo of the inauguration, plus having our first campsite visitor, Eugene, the smug koala villager, that eventually moved to our island.

My First Villager Invite via amiibo

Finally! Our first campsite visitor that we selected via amiibo. Directly after the Animal Crossing: New Horizons Direct in February 2020 (watch here), I was lucky to snag some amiibo cards* before prices skyrocketed or cards even sold out. We made a selection of villagers that we would like to invite via amiibo to BK Isle. Maple was the first one – and spoiler alert: She wanted to stay.

And there you have it! A lot happened in my first 100 hours playing Animal Crossing New Horizons. 

What are your highlights in ACNH so far? How many hours have you been playing already? Are you still playing or have you moved to the next game? Happy to learn more about this in the comment section! And please let me know if you are interested in a follow-up article covering my upcoming 100 hours in Animal Crossing New Horizons. 

* Affiliate link: In case you haven’t bought Animal Crossing New Horizons yet or you are interested in any other Animal Crossing New Horizons items and you would like to support the blog, using my affiliate links for Amazon or PlayAsia would mean the world to me. Not to get rich, just to get the blog going. Thank you for your support!

Benny Kong Mobile Nintendo Switch Puma New York Yankees

Welcome to Benny Kong’s World

Hi – nice to meet you and welcome to Benny Kong’s World.

My name is Ben, currently living in Berlin, passionate Nintendo gamer and collector.

While being active on Twitter or Instagram with my dedicated @Bennykong64 accounts (that I set up to fully concentrate on Nintendo topics), I felt that I would like to create my #AllNintendo content in a way, that I can structure and control better. And most importantly: To preserve my content in a format, that is easier accessible for anybody.

Too often I was searching all over the place for a certain post because I intended to have a quick look at it or to follow up on it. So why not publishing content that is relevant to me – on my own website?

With Benny Kong, I’m inviting you to join me on my personal Nintendo journey:

I will share with you which Nintendo Switch physical releases or retro games I add to my physical collection (plus last generation games such as for the Wii or Wii U). I will also post what I think about certain games in the review section and hope to inspire you with my upcoming planned Nintendo Switch purchases that I put on my personal Switch shopping list -the #SwitchList. Additionally I would like to talk with you in about all kind of Nintendo topics in in my blog section: BK’s Thoughts.

It All Started With the Game Boy

As I like to say: It all started with the Game Boy, the Nintendo Switch makes me play and collect like a kid again.

Some day back in my early days when I was in kindergarten or when I started to study in elementary school – but for sure in the very early 90s – the Game Boy was omnipresent. Launched in Europe in September 1990, many of the cool kids had it: It was the super hot gadget in the schoolyard or on the playground, and one of my very best friends, Marco (who used to live in the apartment below ours), had one too. And it’s getting even better:

Marco’s family had a Nintendo Entertainment System that was set up in the living room as well! This is where you could find Marco and me precisely almost every day after school – playing Super Mario Bros., Tetris, Donkey Kong or Nintendo World Cup. Fun times, right Marco?

I cannot exactly remember the occasion, but recall the pre-condition: My parents wanted me to be a straight A student in elementary school first, before they were about to give green light for buying me a Nintendo handheld:

My sister and me – the Game Boy is not far.

My motivation was a high and at some point I could call myself a lucky Game Boy owner too. Finally. Oh boy, was I happy!  

Me and my Game Boy! Everywhere I’d go, my Game Boy was with me. And it was so great lending games to friends.

My very first handheld game was either Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge or The Smurfs. Some of my favorite games to play were Super Mario Land 2: 6 Golden Coins and Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3.

I also had a-multiple-games-on-one-cart-collection: It contained basically every major release such as Super Mario Land or Kirby’s Dream Land, booting up from one notorious cart. It came without any box or manual, so I actually never knew, where my parents did get me this game from ….

Easter 1995

I can remember it as it was yesterday: My sister and I were Easter egg hunting in our flat (it must have rained that day) and we found something very special hidden in a gap below the living room cupboard:

My sister and I celebrated proudly with a photo our Easter gift from 1995.

A Super Nintendo Entertainment System. What a surprise! The SNES was bundled with Super Mario World. And a Super Game Boy that let me play my Game Boy games on the big screen. What an innovation!

The SNES is still one of my favorite Nintendo home consoles of all times and Super Mario World a game that I have finished several times – of course by finding all 96 exits.

Some of my all time classics for the system are titles such as Donkey Kong Country, Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy’s Kong Quest, Super Mario Kart, Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island or International Superstar Soccer Deluxe.

The Golden Era

Memorizing growing up both as a kid and teenager with Nintendo consoles, I think I had the most fun with Nintendo video games back in the Nintendo 64 era. I consider the Nintendo 64 era as the golden era, as it was a time period for me personally, in which I could enjoy Nintendo games on a different and maybe even more intensive level:

On top of an unbelievable and game changing catalogue of video games such as Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64, Banjo-Kazooie or Donkey Kong 64, I was now able to inform myself independently about releases in magazines, buy more and more games from my own pocket money or had the opportunity to get superb Nintendo promotional material on VHS such as:



Who did not use exactly these video cassettes to show parents and grandparents which games are on their wishlist for an upcoming birthday or holiday season?

Due to nostalgic reasons, I’m showcasing the promotional material that was tailored for the German market since I cannot be that certain, which tapes were used as giveaways for other markets such as the US or the UK.

The Nintendo 64 was launched in Europe on March 1, 1997 and luckily I had one close friend that did get the console for his birthday in the launch month. This provided me with the opportunity to already play a bit and to join the new dimension of fun.

Myself, I had to wait a bit longer as my birthday is in October. The first game I got was International Superstar Soccer 64.


For Christmas my parents (oh I mean Santa Claus) surprised my sister and me with Super Mario 64 and Mario Kart 64. What a holiday season! Christmas 1998, I found The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time under the Christmas tree: My very first Zelda title and a milestone in the entire video game history – until now. And just one year later, Christmas 1999, I was very happy to unwrap a present that contained Donkey Kong 64, which is still to date one of my favorite games of all times.

Fast Forward to March 3, 2017

Also the upcoming three other Nintendo home consoles found their way in my home. I bought the GameCube in 2002, just some months after the launch. In order to have them on launch day, I pre-ordered the Wii and the Wii U. All three consoles provided me with countless hours of fun, endless single-player adventures and challenges, and last but not least: Dozens of sleepless nights when friends stayed over to play some great multi-player titles (Red shell!).

Understandable that as I did get older, the time spent in front of a video game console may have gotten less and less from console generation to generation – but March 3, 2017 changed everything:

The Nintendo Switch Makes Me PLAY Like a Kid Again

My friend Philipp and me, celebrating the Nintendo Switch launch weekend in Berlin. In case you interested in, I recently wrote up a little story on this personal anecdote and shared it on Instagram.





Yes, the Nintendo Switch brought me emotionally right back to the start where my Nintendo journey did begin:

Back to the time, where I did hold my friend’s Game Boy in my hands for the very first time. Just before I was about to get my very own handheld. Back to the time where I spotted the NES in Marco’s parents living room or when my sister & I found the SNES that our parents did hide for Easter.

The Nintendo Switch brought back the same magic that I felt when playing for the very time Super Mario 64 at my friend’s house. As I headed for the very first time for the Great Plateau in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wild, I suddenly felt the same joy playing a videogame that I last felt back in the golden Nintendo 64 era. The Nintendo Switch brought all that back!

The same magic from back in the day, over 20 years later, that I feel now almost on a daily basis when switching on my Nintendo Switch. Watching the “The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017-Trailer” still gives me goosebumps:



Being simply amazed and overwhelmed by the smooth gameplay and the size of a Super Mario Odyssey and recognizing so many similarities to one of my favorite games of all time: Super Mario 64.

Re-visiting the “Super Mario Odyssey – Nintendo Switch Presentation 2017 Trailer” fulfills me everytime with the warm feeling that an unbelieving adventure is waiting for me – an adventure around the world, just like in 1997:


The Nintendo Switch Makes Me COLLECT Like a Kid Again

Back in the day, growing up with Nintendo, I knew that inserting a physical game cart into my Nintendo console was actually the only way to play the game. Today, I still opt-in for the physical release – knowing that there might be a cheaper and more convenient way to play a game: Digitally, by making a purchase via the eShop.

Nintendo made their first digital games on a home gaming console accessible via the Virtual Console for the Wii. The lineup consisted of 17 titles and was available directly at launch of the Wii, in November (NA) and December (EU) in 2016.

Talking on the pro & cons of physical and digital games, on real ownership of games or what happens to the digital library when servers of a platform will be shutdown, is actually content for an entire separate BK’s Thoughts blogpost and won’t be discussed here.

For now, I’d like to illustrate briefly why the Nintendo Switch makes me collect like a kid again.

The answer on this might be very simple:

Because I feel exactly the same appreciation for both the game box and the cart that I felt when I was a kid. This unique feeling of owning exactly this game when having it for the very first time in your hands. This game is mine now: I can lend it to my friend Marco and get a game from him in return. Or the feeling that I had as a teenager when I wanted to play a new game, but had to sell an old one in the first place.

You treated your games with respect, stored them properly in your shelf or commode. When you were surprised with a game as a gift for your birthday or Christmas, the precious game was passed-through all the hands of family members and guests. And you had the feeling that you did get really something special. It was a present that you could touch. Now I’m making these presents mostly to myself – and even on a more frequent basis as back in the day. But the magic still feels the same. I’ll take my time to check the front and back cover as well as the cart – and if we are lucky: There is even some interior art and a manual.

Both the interior art and a manual, that is especially something that we do not find regularly in the box when opening a 3rd party release. But luckily independent publishers of limited print games got us covered here.


A colorful manual is the perfect homage to physical games from back in the day. Limited print releases are the perfect collectors item in your Nintendo Switch physical collection. But here comes maybe the coolest reason why the Nintendo Switch makes me collect like a kid again:

Since Nintendo Switch game carts are not region locked, you can import Switch games from anywhere in the world and add a physical, playable copy to your shelf, although the game was never released in your region. This is such a game changer comparing to collecting Wii, Wii U or retro Nintendo games. You might import games that are not available in your region, but as long as you do not have the appropriate PAL or NTSC console, you are not be able to play the game.

What a great decision from Nintendo to make the Nintendo Switch a region free console. Thank you, Big N!
 

Anytime. Anywhere.

Playing on the go, while driving home for #SwitchMas via train.

One of the best features of Nintendo’s latest system, on top of an unbelievable good library of games that put a smile on your face (or even tears of joy when hearing the Donkey Kong 64 Isle Theme being remastered in Mario & Rabbids Kingdom Battle – Donkey Kong Adventure)  is the mobility aspect:

Having the opportunity to play your games seamless when traveling via plane or train or taking your Switch with you when going on vacations, resonates a lot with my lifestyle.

Anytime, anywhere – bravo, Nintendo.

The Nintendo Switch Makes Me Wanting to CREATE Content (Like Never Before)

But not only playing wonderful blockbuster video games where and when you want to (or can) made me falling in love with the Nintendo Switch: The hybrid console made me developing a much deeper interest for the video game industry as a whole.

Nowadays, platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or Discord (just to mention a few) give you the possibility to exchange with like-minded people, to be engaged in communities, and to be directly in contact with developers, publishers or distributors of the games you love.

You as the gamer, and we as a community, we do have a voice. We can stream our feedback directly to the creators of the titles we love and the video gaming industry is listening, is open minded to learn what we think. Do do we complain about certain bugs? Are we excited for certain releases? Would we like to see a physical release of a certain game?

If you are engaged on aforementioned platforms, then you may have stumbled across open threads with industry players, in which you were asked to share your favorite title from the respective inquirer or which title you would like to see a physical release for.

Such a wonderful exchange that I experienced in particular over the past six months on Twitter as BennyKong64, made me thinking, how I may capture my Nintendo Switch moments at best:

How can I give back to the community in a way, that other gamers and collectors can benefit from? How can I provide to the video game producing industry an exposure to showcase their content? Content, that I happen to love?

All the information on new physical releases, exclusive region releases, limited print copies, knowledge about games I would have slept on or that I never heard about, Kickstarter campaigns, predicting and speculating together what games might be revealed at an upcoming Nintendo Direct, sharing opinions about patches, DLC’s, the completeness of games on the cart (#CompleteOnCart) , reviews, or just talking about retro games and memorizing the old days, motivated me in my wish to preserve a friction of this content and make it accessible – just a click away via my own website: Benny Kong.

Welcome to Benny Kong’s World!

Yours,

PS: I hope Benny Kong will contribute to the Nintendo community and you may find it helpful. When you want to reach out to me, just use the comments section below or contact me directly on Twitter or Instagram via my @BennyKong64 handle.