Animal Crossing: New Horizons' May Day Maze Is Fleeting, Clever Fun

Animal Crossing: New Horizons' May Day Maze Is Fleeting, Clever Fun

The May Day maze is great fun.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons isn't letting events slow down, with the new May Day event kicking off today. It's the slimmest event the game has seen so far, even compared to Nature Day's slim daily Nook Miles challenges. It's a charming outing nonetheless, even though I've seen all it has to offer in well under an hour.

For May Day, Tom Nook lends you a ticket to a special deserted island. An old friend is waiting for us there—Rover, the friendly cat that used to get us inducted into the world of Animal Crossing. In New Horizons, Rover, like so many friendly faces of the series, has remained conspicuously absent. Until now.

Unlike Nook Miles Tickets, the May Day ticket takes us to a unique island with only a maze. I'll be short: I love the maze.

So close, yet so far. | Caty McCarthy/USG, Nintendo

On Twitter and Reddit, I've seen folks making their own mazes for some time now—even more so now that hedge fencing was inducted with the start of Nature Day in late April. Even my partner has constructed a maze for his town's entrance with terraformed cliffs, so that if he ever has high turnip prizes, he can do some good natured trolling before players are able to actually sell their goods. (Side bar: I might do the same, but with... the new pitfall seeds I can craft thanks to the recipe I recently got.) None of the mazes I've participated in have been as clever as the one Nintendo cooked up for May Day, though.

It starts simple: No items are able to be taken to the May Day island. This is integral to how the maze plays out. With carefully laid supplies—wood here, a hunk of iron there—I traveled through the maze, which is gated by hedge fencing and gaps of water to hop over. The water holes bar turning in any direction, leading to an even more complicated maze to traverse. I thought out which direction would lead me where, and theorized how to get on the opposite side of a water hole to get to a new path. It's not a difficult maze to figure out in the end, but it's a creative challenge nonetheless.

Waiting at the end of the maze is a face I've missed so much during my time with New Horizons: Rover. I even have a Rover plush that I keep on my nightstand next to my plastic Ikea plant. I love the dang cat. My time with Rover is fleeting though. I snap a few screenshots. He gives me a special prize. And with that, I head on back home to my island of Sunset. May Day Tour is accessible until May 7, but it's a one-time visit. I blew through it on Day 1.

Of course I made Rover do a little photoshoot. | Caty McCarthy/USG, Nintendo

That's May Day. One strange maze visit; one conversation with Rover, and that's that. I wasn't kidding when I said this was the slimmest "event" New Horizons has seen so far. All I can hope is that there's another Rover visit in the future. Hopefully one with a more challenging maze, now that Nintendo's tested the waters with such an approach.

I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo's May Day maze inspires players to create more elaborate mazes. Maybe they'll ban players from bringing items when they fly over. Maybe they'll come up with their own unique rules—or utilize terraforming as Nintendo did with its square water holes that enabled strict path direction.

Luckily, May Day isn't the only event for May. Nature Day wraps up on May 4, while International Museum Day, an ongoing event that encourages players to visit their own museum and collect stamps, commences on May 18 and lasts through to the end of the month. What's been nice about the scope of Animal Crossing: New Horizons' events so far is they all feel varied—even if we all did loathe Bunny Day. Every event has been shaping up to offer wildly different things, from tasks to goods. Beyond June's Wedding event, we're looking forward to see what other themed antics Animal Crossing gets up to.

May Day has long been a festival celebrating spring, but it also shares a day with International Workers' Day. Adorably, Tom Nook addresses this in his dialogue, saying it's a day where we express gratitude for those working hard. It's fitting, given today's country-wide walkout of frontline workers, and how consumers are encouraged to not shop at the likes of Target, Amazon, and more in support. If debt-villain Tom Nook can thank us for making a beautiful island, the least we can do is support the at-risk workers taking a commendable stance today. Solidarity.

If you're having trouble on Animal Crossing: New Horizons' May Day maze, our guides should be a good help for you.

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Caty McCarthy

Senior Editor

Caty McCarthy is a former freelance writer whose work has appeared in Kill Screen, VICE, The AV Club, Kotaku, Polygon, and IGN. When she's not blathering into a podcast mic, reading a book, or playing a billion video games at once, she's probably watching Terrace House or something. She is currently USgamer's Senior Editor.

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