My Time at Portia (PC) Preview

By Brandon Howard 27.01.2018 2

Review for My Time at Portia on PC

My Time at Portia comes in hot off the success of titles like Stardew Valley, and for good reason. There's something irresistible about the pull of a quaint village life by the sea, where the concerns of the real world are lost in rustic bliss. As an Early Access title, available on Steam now, with a full release planned for later this year, My Time at Portia is a wonderful, heartfelt way to spend the cold winter months.

My Time at Portia draws some clear inspirations from the likes of Story of Seasons and Stardew Valley (and even recently the released Staxel), but rest assured, it's definitely not a farming sim. My Time at Portia is all about the adventures of a novice builder and their adventures in the town of Portia. The emphasis in this game, rather than on raising and growing crops, is more on the building; creating furniture, table saws, bridges, and the like.

It plays out similarly, though, so fans of the aforementioned farming titles, will feel right at home. The player is welcomed to Portia by the mayor, who explains that their father was a builder in town many years ago, and left it to them before passing on. They are then whisked into town to meet a colourful cast of characters who run the local shops and businesses, and their families. Players can slowly become friends with the townsfolk, and even develop a more serious romantic relationship with a character over time.

Screenshot for My Time at Portia on PC

Instead of planting and growing crops, mining, and crafting the products and materials obtained from the mines is the main source of income in the early stages. Taking commissions from the local office to craft certain items for nearby towns and the local villagers offers a substantial sum of cash, but it's kind of a laborious process. Mining and then refining the ore, then processing the refined ore into new items, and then building those items into the finished product, takes a lot of time, and the commission time limit isn't always helpful when you are missing that one last piece of ore.

Even compared to similar titles, the low inventory space and small starting land plot feel very limiting early on. There are tons of random items given, and there isn't a lot of space to store them, even with building new storage containers. Each machine that's used to refine materials also takes up valuable space on your land space, making the area feel very crowded early on. It would be nice if the machines all stacked up in one area considering how crucial they are to early success, but it's a decent system nonetheless.

Screenshot for My Time at Portia on PC

It would better if mining was a little more interesting, though. Most of the early commissions received are pretty dependant on materials from the mines and, honestly, they are a rather dull place. The mine is a grey room that can, for the most part, be mined freely. The player is given a jetpack and a radar scope to help navigate the mines and search out rare treasures, but it's a mostly featureless area that isn't really fun to explore. There are several mines, but the concept is the same regardless.

Aside from mining, there is some minor crop-raising to be done, and a healthy amount of combat, as well. There's a ton to do, and it's easy to get lost in one activity day after day. Every activity gives a bit of experience, and levelling up nets skill points that can be invested into three different skill trees. Each tree provides different perks, based on how the player character wants to spend most of their time. There's a surprising variety in skills, and it is cool to see how they impact on the different activities.

Screenshot for My Time at Portia on PC

There's definitely a lot to love about the world, too. There's kind of a prevailing mystery about a bygone civilisation that collapsed due to overuse of technology, and the characters are all unique and extremely loveable. There's a robust amount of voice acting, too, which is an unexpected and pleasant surprise. The performances are solid overall, and help impart a better sense of personality for each of the characters.

My Time at Portia has some stiffness to it, however, and it doesn't feel like all of the systems are perfectly tuned yet. Money definitely feels a little crippling early on, and it would be nice if there was a little more to mining, since so much time needs to be devoted there early on. It's got some small, annoying issues that will feel a little nagging early on, but it's worth it to keep coming back for the characters and the world itself.

Screenshot for My Time at Portia on PC

Final Thoughts

Despite some obvious flaws, My Time at Portia shows a lot of promise, considering how early this build is. There's a rich, flavourful world here with tons to do, and it's easy to get lost in the different tasks. It does have some rough patches and a few areas of major frustration, but this is definitely a game that's just fun to drink in. It is well worth the time it takes to get acquainted with the charming village of Portia.

Developer

Pathea Games

Publisher

Team17

Genre

Simulation

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Great write-up! Looks like there's a solid base here and great potential. I hope the developer is able to take on some of the feedback you mentioned to help make it a better experience overall.

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]

It's really a lot of fun! I might keep trying to play it for a while. My big issue is really how grindy it is early on, really hope to see that addressed at some point.

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