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Game Time Uses Real World Clock

Video games create fantasy space in which we play. These are often enjoyable because they are an escape from everyday life. Some, however, want to become a part of our day. One way they do this is to make things happen in the game in accordance with the time (and sometimes date) in the real world.

This can be games like The Longing or Animal Crossing that tie events in the game with the passing of real world time. Maybe you have to wait for a certain number of hours, or maybe you need to come back at a certain time of day. Either way, your in-game play is linked to the real world by the hands of time.

Other games use the real clock to reward you for not playing. Neo: The World Ends With You for example, offers certain types of pins (upgrades) that level up the longer the game has been off. Games like Pokemon have creatures that change form based on the season on your DS clock. Cozy Grove is synced to real world time, and provides 30-60 minutes of new quest content each day.

Mario Party 6 has certain mini-games and game boards that are different in day and night. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker's start-up screen varies depending on the time of day you were playing. In Simpsons Hit and Run, during Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving and New Year in the real world you get game characters dressed up in a special outfit. Simpsons Hit and Run also has a different start screen depending on whether it's Christmas or another holiday. Finally, how about Superbrothers Sword & Sworcery EP that uses the real world lunar cycle so that certain puzzles can only be completed during a full moon, and other elements only during a new moon.

This is a novel thing for games to do. It's also quite useful for families as it means you are usually limited in what you can do in a game in any one day. These games encourage players to pop in for 30 minutes or do, do their tasks for the day, and then leave until tomorrow.

This list includes 19 games from the last 25 years, with 408 likes. They come from a range of different genres and play-styles and are all good games if you want to sync play with real world clock.

DetailsList Details

PEGI Ratings: PEGI 3 to PEGI 16
ESRB Ratings: ESRB EVERYONE to ESRB MATURE 17+
Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World, Physically Active, Point-and-Click, Puzzle, Racing, Rhythm, Role-Playing, Simulation, Sports, Strategy and Turn-Based
Total Likes: 408
 

 

Animal Crossing (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 9-16 year-olds

Release Date: 14/12/2001, updated in 2020

Price: 26% off

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS, GameCube, Switch and Wii

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 28 features

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room and up to 8 players online

You live on a small island teeming with life. Insects, fish, trees, vegetation and fossils are represented with cute cartoon visuals. Rather than the scale or grandeur of other game worlds, it’s the interconnected drama of the world and characters...

Pokémon (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 8-14 year-olds

Release Date: 27/02/1996, updated in 2019

Platforms: 3DS and 2DS, DS and Switch

Genres: Role-Playing, Strategy and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 13 features

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: This is a single player game. You can play with up to 4 players online

Pokémon Sword and Shield are role-playing games where you explore a fictional world and collect different creatures called Pokémon. You progress through the game by exploring the world, talking to character and winning turn-based battles with the...

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 14+ year-olds

Release Date: 18/08/2020

Platforms: PC and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: @AsoboStudio

Players: You can play this with 30 players online

Microsoft Flight Simulator (Microsoft Flight Sim 2020) is the latest flight simulator game in the long running series. Along with a huge range of aircraft you can learn to fly, the game recreates the entire Earth using textures and data from data maps...

Lifeline (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 16

Release Date: 16/04/2015, updated in 2016

Platforms: Android, PC and iOS

Genres: Adventure and Narrative

Accessibility: 16 features

Developer: @3MinuteGames

Players: This is a single player game

Lifeline is a narrative adventure where you interact with an astronaut, Taylor via text messages. You help him return home after crashing his aircraft on a foreign planet.

Mario Party (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 4+ year-olds

Release Date: 08/10/2010, updated in 2013

Platforms: Wii and Wii U

Genres: Action, Fighting, Puzzle, Racing and Sports

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room

Mario Party (Wii, Wii U, 3DS and Gamecube) is an interactive board game. Players compete in different mini-games to earn the chance to throw dice and proceed around the board. You play as Nintendo characters and take on challenges that make use of the...

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 24/03/2003, updated in 2013

Platforms: GameCube and Wii U

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Puzzle

Accessibility: 1 feature

Developer: @Nintendo

Players: This is a single player game

The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker is an adventure game in the Zelda series. This one is set on a group of islands in a vast sea, and follows Link as he attempts to save his sister from the sorcerer Ganon. This soon develops into a struggle to find the...

Bury Me My Love

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 12+ year-olds

Release Date: 26/10/2017, updated in 2020

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Turn-Based

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: @ARTE_Interactif

Players: This is a single player game

Don’t be put off by the name and theme of this intriguing game, an adventure played by choosing responses in what looks like a messaging app. You take the role of the husband of a Syrian migrant travelling to Europe. As the game unfolds in real time,...

Cozy Grove

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 19/03/2021

Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and iPhone, iPad

Genres: Narrative, Open World, Puzzle, Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy

Accessibility: 22 features

Developer: @SpryFox

Players: This is a single player game

Cozy Grove is a life-simulation where you camp on a hand-drawn island. You play a scout and explore the ever changing island's forest to find secrets and help the local ghosts. Like Animal Crossing, it has a children's story-book look, but is a...

The Simpsons Hit and Run

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 16/11/2003

Platforms: GameCube, PS2, Wii and Xbox

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Open World and Racing

Accessibility: 3 features

Developer: @Radical_Ent

Players: This is a single player game

The Simpsons: Hit & Run is adventure game based on the American animated sitcom The Simpsons.

Burnout Paradise (Series)

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 16/03/2018, updated in 2018

Platforms: GameCube, PC, PS Vita, PS2, PS3, PS4, Switch, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S

Genres: Open World, Racing and Simulation

Developer: @CriterionGames

Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room and up to 4 players online

The Burnout series is an over-the-top racing game where you’re encouraged to crash, bash and ram other cars. Throughout the series the bravado and crashing increases, but they all have the same novel core gameplay.

World of Warcraft

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 12-16 year-olds

Release Date: 23/11/2004

Platforms: Mac and PC

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Role-Playing and Strategy

Accessibility: 29 features

Developer: @Warcraft

Players: You can play this with 1200 players online

World of Warcraft (WoW) is an online role-playing game set in the fantasy world of Azeroth. You create a character who works with other players to explore, fight monsters and complete quests. It's a hugely popular game that makes lots of headlines, but...

The Longing

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 05/03/2020

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click and Simulation

Developer: @StudioSeufz

Players: This is a single player game

The Longing is a point-and-click adventure about waiting and loneliness. It's an intentionally slow game that takes 400 elapsed days to finish. It draws on the Idle Game genre, where you use minor interactions to incrementally advance. Here though, the...

Bird Alone

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 15/06/2020

Platforms: iOS

Genres: Narrative and Simulation

Developer: @GeorgeBatch

Players: This is a single player game

Bird Alone is a narrative game where you befriend a bird. Your feathered companion encourages the conversation in the direction of real life worries while you make music, draw pictures and write poetry. It’s a slow game that unfolds in real time with...

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 27/04/2011, updated in 2018

Platforms: Android, Mac, PC, Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Point-and-Click, Puzzle and Simulation

Developer: @SuperBrothersHQ

Players: This is a single player game

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP is an adventure game in miniature. You explore a myth-rich world and use yoursword to do battle and evoke spells to solve musical puzzles. It's a world and game that changes with the moon as you guide your wandering...

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure

Content Rating: PEGI 7

Release Date: 16/10/1997, updated in 2020

Platforms: PC, PS4 and Switch

Genres: Adventure, Narrative, Puzzle and Role-Playing

Developer: @OnionGames

Players: This is a single player game

Moon: Remix RPG Adventure is a role-play adventure set inside another role-playing game where "the hero" has wreaked destruction, killing hundreds of creatures and looting homes. Unusually, you play a supporting character in the game who tries to undo...

Neo: The World Ends with You

Content Rating: PEGI 12

Skill Rating: 11+ year-olds

Release Date: 27/07/2007, updated in 2021

Platforms: Android, DS, PC, PS4, Switch and iOS

Genres: Action, Fighting, Narrative, Rhythm and Role-Playing

Accessibility: 27 features

Developer: @SquareEnix

Players: This is a single player game

The World Ends with You is a role-playing game set in the modern-day Shibuya shopping district of Tokyo. The place is a ghost town where the dead are forced to battle to try and gain their lives back. With stylized art and a fantasy story it stands out...

The Garden Path

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 3

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: Coming soon

Platforms: Mac, PC and Switch

Genres: Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Accessibility: 26 features

Developer: @FromCarrotCake

Players: This is a single player game

The Garden Path is a slice-of-life simulation game about the small pleasures of gardening. You tend to a world and make it your own through fishing, growing, trading and making new friends. As you do an adventure emerges.

Ingress Prime

Content Rating: PEGI 3

Release Date: 14/12/2013

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Physically Active, Role-Playing, Simulation and Strategy

Developer: @NianticLabs

Players: You can play this with 1000 players online

Ingress (also known as Ingress Prime) is an adventure game that uses your smartphone's GPS to locate you in a game world that correlates with reality. You interact with virtual "portals" located near statues, monuments, civic and historic buildings in...

Lock (Dreams)

Expected Content Rating: PEGI 7

Skill Rating: 10+ year-olds

Release Date: 17/10/2020, updated in 2021

Platforms: PS4 and PS5

Genres: Narrative, Point-and-Click and Puzzle

Accessibility: 18 features

Developer: @800PixelGorilla

Players: This is a single player game

Lock is a puzzle game about escaping rooms. You must discover secret four letter word clues by exploring each space, in order to unlock panels, collect keys, and unlock further rooms. You will need all your powers of observation, codebreaking, and...


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