I’m totally copying what Kris wrote yesterday. If you haven’t read her post about Stardew Valley’s Longevity, go ahead and do so right now. I’ll be here when you get back.
It’s no secret that between Stardew Valley and Animal Crossing, Kris would pick the former and I would choose the latter. So, when I read her post about Stardew Valley it made me think about Animal Crossing’s longevity.
One major difference between these two games is that one happens in real-time while the other doesn’t. Animal Crossing New Horizons released in March 2020. I played it through May and then got out of the habit of checking in on my island each day.
It wasn’t until the beginning of this March that I picked the game back up again. It’s like nothing changed because I completely missed summer, autumn, and winter. I can’t even work towards getting collecting new bugs and fish because I already got them all last spring. I’m almost done collecting the sea creatures that I missed last summer as well. At least, the ones available to be caught at this time.
There are so many things I’ve already accomplished – I got K.K. Slider and terraforming, I’m debt-free, and the museum has a full collection of fossils.
Normally, all that would be left for me to do is to terraform and make my island look as cool as possible (and terraforming wasn’t even a thing in the previous games). The thing is, I missed so many updates and other cool features in the nine months I was absent. So, not only can I stick around to get those updates when the time comes, but there’s also so much else I can do.
I remember the earlier Animal Crossing games were tough with the real-time mechanic. After making so much money or catching all the bugs, fish, and fossils for the day, there wasn’t much else I could do. Once I paid off my house, that was it. I had, essentially, beaten the game with the museum as an extra thing.
Now I can do so much more. When I’m done for the day, I keep playing. I rearrange the stuff on my island. I rearrange the things in my house. I focus on finding the right gifts for my villagers.
In Kris’s post, she mentioned Stardew Valley updated with a few new quests and Ginger Island and such, so there’s a lot more to do in the game now other than keeping up with your farm and going to the in-game festivals. Since Animal Crossing is built in real-time, most updates are annual happenings. Bunny Day, for example, is upon us yet again with eggs absolutely everywhere. This time, though, not only do we have Bunny Day recipes, but we have special items in Timmy and Tommy’s shop as well.
They also updated the game to give us more customization options, too. Animal Crossing gives us those seasonal updates but also random ones here and there that make people go back to the game.
Did I turn my game on again for the Mario items? Yes and no. I had been itching to play Animal Crossing again but was afraid I’d spend too much time on it and not get any work done. Then they announced the Mario items and… well, I’ve played nearly almost every day for the entire month of March. And I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.
Now that I’ve begun playing again, no only do I need to catch up with the upcoming seasons, but I’ve also started a new project where I’m giving all my villagers their own fenced-in yards and… it’s a lot of work. It’s time-consuming, I need to move buildings around… I’m going to be playing this game for the rest of my life.
What’s a game you’ll always go back to? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it!