As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to keep residents indoors across North America and Europe this week, players of the newly-released Animal Crossing: New Horizons have confirmed that weeks into the future, most of the United States remains in lockdown.
The highly-anticipated Animal Crossing: New Horizons was released last week, and longtime fans of the franchise eagerly set about building their islands as much of North America and Europe were essentially shut down due to the ongoing pandemic. Like previous installments, the game is played in real time, which moderates in-game progress. However, eager players can overcome the need to wait by using a little-known feature on the Nintendo Switch consoles, which alters the fabric of the spacetime and allows players to travel in time.
Initial time travelers reported few significant events in the near future, focusing instead on going to open shops and building their camp sites in their Animal Crossing save. As players progressed through the game, however, they began going further and further into the future.
“When I wasn’t focused on the game, I saw some weird shit happening outside in April,” Animal Crossing player and interdimensional time navigator Sara Drummond told Anime Maru. “Earthquakes, fires, Joe Biden… but I was mainly focused on the cool new museum in New Horizons.”
Currently, the players furthest along in the game have traveled up to six weeks into the future. They report that in May, most of America is still experiencing social distancing and stuck inside.
For long-time Animal Crossing fan Alex Ching, the social distancing was getting unbearable.
“I know how to get the stores to open in Animal Crossing, but no matter how much time-travelling I do, I can’t get the stores to open in real life.”