AC:NL Logo

AC:NL Logo

Animal Crossing: New Leaf has taken the handheld world by storm, and has sold enough copies to increase Nintendo’s stock price since its release in early June. It’s a definitely a hit, and one game that has me currently addicted to its cuddly little world of debt and responsibility. The simplistic gameplay and monotonous routine of the game are hard to pass up, and even explain for that matter, but for the most part New Leaf is one of the best 3DS games to date, and a contender for the “Best games of 2013” lists that will begin to drop this winter.

Not enough time in the day

There is one issue about Animal Crossing: New Leaf (ACNL) that slightly hampers the experience though, and that is the lack of a 24/7 store. For someone like me who operates on a night owl second shift schedule its almost impossible to get hands-on time with New Leaf while my town is still bustling with inhabitants, and open retail shops. Every night I get to play I either have to rush to my stores of the previous night’s haul of fish, bugs, fruit, and whatever treasures I plan to make some quick bells on, or I’m completely closed out of the shop, and have to return to my hunting and gathering activities with the hopes of making it into the game in time the next day to sell my booty.

Many nights are spent dreaming of making bells and not actually making them (Source)
Many nights are spent dreaming of making bells and not actually making them (Source)

This cycle of gathering goods and not getting the instant gratification of an increased bells account balance leaves New Leaf feeling unfulfilling for a creature of the night like myself. The monotonous routine of gathering goods and running back and forth to a locker or cabinet to store them gets very old, and turns the gameplay into a repetitive cycle of servitude to the clock and mini-loading screens. There’s still plenty to do during the late night hours, but nothing feels as rewarding as getting paid for your hard work, and that’s just not an everyday occurrence in my town thanks to my odd gaming schedule.

24/7 FTW

It would be fantastic if the Nook clan, or Reese from the Re-Tail store decided to implement a 24/7/365 operating schedule just like the real life 7-Eleven franchise. This way I could always do my shopping and selling without the fear of turning the game on before 11 pm, which is the latest a retail store stays open in New Leaf. The rushed gameplay I experience during a crunch window to make as many bells as possible would be alleviated. Essentially, I could play this fantastically addictive game the way it is meant to be played, and not get penalized for being a productive human that sometimes can’t even think of gaming until most of the U.S. population has gone to bed.

Nook and his nephews need to rethink their business hours
Nook and his nephews need to rethink their business hours

Before you rail on my criticism and remind me that you can buy ordinances to force shops to stay open three hours later (or open 3 hours earlier), you must keep in mind that this perk can take upwards of 10 hours or more to unlock. Even then you can only unlock one ordinance at a time, which also cost bells mind you, so you’re still left with the struggle of trying to make it to your town before the business day ends. One must still level up to the point where you can implement ordinances in the first place, which requires making bells and paying off debt, so you’re still left with many hours of fragmented gameplay to earn the loot required to unlock the open longer, or earlier ordinance.

A world where gamers get to play the games they want when they want is a reality that only lazy Asses and pro gamers can realize. The rest of us are left to fend for ourselves in a troubled economy to make ends meat for life’s needs, and our passions. This usually results in a work schedule that may not be conducive for playing a game like Animal Crossing: New Leaf, which features an internal clock that dictates what can and can’t be done throughout the day.

A gamer can dream

It would be a Godsend to someone like me if Tom Nook and his posse of business minded family members, or Reese and her Re-Tail resale shop stayed open past 11 pm. Why can’t one of the Nookling Junction raccoons break off and open a 24/7 convenience store in the vein of 7-Eleven? Even with the ordinance in place to force shops to stay open later one would still have to log into their town by 2 am, so a 24 hour convenient store would be just that – convenient.

One can only dream of an Animal Crossing town full of open shops late at night (Source)
One can only dream of an Animal Crossing town full of open shops late at night (Source)

Granted this whole time restriction of business operations in Animal Crossing: New Leaf is in place to keep you playing longer and more often. Hell, it even adds validity to the idea that being a Mayor of an Animal Crossing town is a full time job with hints of realism. Maybe the tactic was employed to make sure gamers didn’t rot away during a weeklong gameplay binge. Regardless, if my lonely self had the ability to change one thing about Nintendo’s latest smash hit, it’d definitely be the inclusion of 24/7 commerce.

Feel free to chime in on the discussion by using the comments section below. I’d love to hear your feedback on the piece, and would be interested to hear if any of you share my point of view. In the mean time, “Happy Mayoring!”


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Tags : 3DS XLACNLopinion piece
Matt Heywood

The author Matt Heywood

Matt Heywood is the founder and EIC of where he strives to make you a better geek, one post at a time! When he’s not scouring the Internet for interesting nuggets of awesomeness he can be found in his secret lair enjoying the latest and greatest video games, taking pictures of toys, or talking Star Wars on EB’s Star Wars Time podcast show.