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Late-game Animal Crossing advice, and other highlights from this week on Speedrun

Also, Dead by Daylight is now the Super Smash Bros. of horror

Graphic grid featuring five different video games and a portrait of Speedrun host Jimmy Mondal Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon
Mike Mahardy leads game criticism and curation at Polygon as senior editor, reviews. He has been covering entertainment professionally for more than 10 years.

Turns out, my ideal island wasn’t so ideal after all. In fact, it wasn’t even close.

It’s a sentiment I’ve seen often, as more and more players reach the so-called “late game” of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. With terraforming unlocked, houses fully upgraded, and K. K. Slider lured into their town squares, they’re asking themselves “What next?” only to learn that there is, in fact, much more to be done.

Look no further than St. Frushia, the evil lair of Russ Frushtick, who came on Speedrun this week to show off his diabolical creations. Not only has he engineered his island to spawn rocks exactly where he wants them — he’s also made a movie set that would satisfy the most hardcore of Moon Landing conspiracy theorists. All it took was the right materials and the patience of a serial killer.

Speaking of games I thought I was done with: Mortal Kombat 11: Aftermath released this week, bringing none other than RoboCop himself to the cast of bloodsport brawlers. To celebrate, I pitted Speedrun’s host Jimmy Mondal against the cyborg on the hardest difficulty. Things did not go well.

Finally, we returned to Dead By Daylight, the cult hit centered on asymmetrical multiplayer modes, to play as Silent Hills Pyramid Head. Jenna Stoeber joined us to talk about the character’s affectionate fandom and the legacy of the series as a whole, all while trying to murder — or not be murdered — in the actual game. It’s a super fun format we plan on doing again as soon as possible.

All in all, this week felt like the calm before the summer storm. With PlayStation 5 news on the way, and The Last of Us Part 2 reviews coming soon after that, it’s as good a time as ever to take stock — to return to the existing games that are more vital than ever, before things get hectic again.

We’ll be back Monday with more Speedrun, and I’ll be back Friday to say hi. See you then.