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While I shiver with anticipation for Animal Crossing: New Horizons, I am worried about one thing

Will in-game time work the same as past titles in the series?

animal crossing new horizons main screen
Image: Nintendo

Animal Crossing has always been a series close to many people’s hearts. Not only is it a calming, quaint game, but there is plenty of things for completionist to enjoy while others just work on perfecting their flower garden. It’s what makes the series so great.

Now, with the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons on… the horizon, many of us are setting up our preorders and preemptively clearing space on our Nintendo Switches to fully prepare for the experience. I’ve been blinded by the hype of the game and am completely ready for what Nintendo brings to the table.

I’m just worried about one – potentially big – thing.

How will those of us with jobs be able to enjoy Animal Crossing: New Horizons to its full potential?

If Animal Crossing: New Horizons utilizes time like past games, many of us are going to miss quite a bit. This is because past Animal Crossing games based time on real life. If it was 9am in real life, it would be 9am in the game. If you decided to load up the game at midnight, you would be treated to a calm experience where shops were closed and many of your villager friends were already asleep.

It’s already been confirmed that you can only have one island per Nintendo Switch and that it utilizes auto-saving. The old tricks of the past where you can adjust the time to participate in events and be a part of your village will not work with this title.

This means that for most of the adult population (and kids in school) that want to live a simple life in Animal Crossing will be limited to playing at hours where villagers and events have already concluded. Before, this was a pain, but a quick change of time on your system would let you experience these events when you wanted. It always felt a bit like cheating, but I mean, what can you do?

That’s one thing games like Stardew Valley have going for it. While there are still seasons and events, I can plop down on my couch at 11pm and play through an entire season if I want to. While there is something to be said for literally waiting for an event, I want to consume my games at my own pace, not something completely dictated by the game.

Will this be a dealbreaker? Absolutely not, but I’m still trying to figure out how this will be managed. Surely Nintendo has thought of this and will do things that make it accessible to more players – I’m just curious to see how they’ll do it.

What do you think? Is this something you’ve been worried about with Animal Crossing? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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