Platforms: Xbox One, Playstation 4, Nintendo Switch, PC.
Release Date: April 16th, 2019
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Pathea Games
Price: $29.99 USD
I love myself a good Sandbox Simulation RPG game; I love building a reputation up, I love crafting, decorating and I love being able to develop my character in the way I see fit. With My Time At Portia being released on PC for a good amount of time now, I had heard a lot of good things. Did it live up to my expectations? Let’s find out!
My Time At Portia has a story very typical of this genre of game, you arrive in the town of Portia, where you find your Fathers old workshop, weathered and beat up. It’s seen better days but you take it upon yourself to restore it to its former glory and become the number 1 workshop in town! There are two things at that workshop that will be vital to achieving this goal; 1. Your Father’s old handbook, which holds every bit of information to building anything, detailing what components you will need and 2. A workbench, the pinnacle of your building career, where the magic happens.
Imagine anything and I’m pretty sure you can do it in My Time At Portia; crafting, decorating, farming, mining, battling, fishing, interacting with people, getting married, there is so much to do in this amazing world that will keep you occupied for hours on end. Initially, upon creating your character you will begin by accepting requests from the townsfolk, these requests are your bread and butter in Portia, you will be rewarded upon the completion of these tasks and you will gain XP, money and your reputation with those people will increase, which is extremely important if you want to make friends.
Exploring in Portia is a big thing because there is simply so much going on in this little town. There are various town events and in-game festivals to attend, there are caves to delve into and most importantly, there are llamas to ride. Knowing where everything is in town is key, it’s easy to get lost in everything that is going on and sometimes without a clear indicator of where to head next, it’s hard to keep track. Eventually, you will learn the names of the ‘important’ people in town you will be visiting frequently so you will know where to go or who to speak to.
Building relationships in My Time At Portia can be incredibly fun, there is a number of ways to communicate with people, sparring is one of them… I’m not ashamed to say I sometimes took ‘sparring’ a little too serious. You can also play rock, paper, scissors, give them gifts or just have a general conversation with them. Depending on the person, they will react differently to which you choose, giving you a better relationship or worse. I must say, meeting the many different characters is incredibly charming, but my favourite? I little pink cat aptly named, Pinky.
Everything you do in Portia earns you XP, chopping down trees, mining rocks, farming, whatever it is you are doing will help you eventually level up. Leveling up is a great thing because it nets you a skill point which can then be used to upgrade one of your, well, skills. You have three skill trees to choose from, Fight, Gather and Social. Reading through what each one does is essential as it will help you greatly throughout the game, the more times you level up, the more skill points you can spend. Spend them wisely.
Honestly, I could talk about this game for hours, but you want to know how the game actually plays, right? Well, it runs smooth as anything, for the most part. There are times when scrolling through menus that it lags a little but it isn’t so often that it’s annoying and the load times are a little longer than I would like but apart from that, it’s smooth sailing.
I really enjoyed the soundtrack to My Time At Portia, it’s bouncy and relaxing. Sometimes I would just sit and listen to the title music for a little before playing, it is beautiful. The cutscenes can be a little strange because there seems to be little to no voice-acting. It’s strange to be in a cutscene with a lot of background noise and then when it comes to a character speaking… nothing but text. It just made it feel a little, empty? My only gripe here.
The art-style here is extremely pleasing to the eye, the colours are vibrant and pop right out the screen and it helps make it feel more of a relaxing experience. You can tell that Pathea Games have taken inspiration from so many things for their style including from the amazing Studio Ghibli, although at times some surfaces can look a little jagged? Don’t let that discourage you from the style, it does look stunning.
My Time At Portia was filled with nothing but fun and I want everyone to experience this for themselves. This is a game that you can lose an insane amount of hours in sometimes spent doing absolutely nothing, just relaxing in-game. It’s odd because it actually feels like your own little life, every friend you make, every animal you have, it’s almost like family? This game brings a great amount of joy and is charming to its core, there is nothing more I could’ve asked for.
If you’re unsure, check out my gameplay video here!