When you first look at My Time At Portia, you can’t help but notice similarities to games like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley. It is a life simulator game just like the two examples and you can make your own home and have relationships. But it is in the fine details that it sets itself apart and makes this quite an astonishing achievement of a game.
Your adventure begins as you arrive at the docks of Portia, The town you move to after you received the home of your estranged father. The house has seen better days. As you see holes in the ground, filth on the walls and a room devoid of furniture, you know you will have your hands full in repairing everything and making this a livable place to stay.
Luckily for you, you have the knowledge of your father who was great in just about everything, and you soon head out to get to know the people who live at Portia. They all have unique personalities and look very distinct from one another, most are happy to meet you and soon you get to do small jobs for them. Weither it is farming some crops, repairing things or making furniture. The game lets you do all kind of tasks so that no working day might feel the same, and in return you earn money and rewards that will help you fix up your home.
In the first few hours of the game you start of slow with gathering rocks, sticks and herbs to make simple objects and perform small tasks for the people around you. But with those objects, you gather more important materials, you craft better tools and before you know it you can make everything that your heart desires. This is also the same in games like Harvest Moon or Animal Crossing, but My Time At Portia has many more things up its sleeve.
Once you get an hour in to the game you’ll find your first real story mission and boy are these challenging. The first mission asks you to build a bridge, which may not seem that hard. But you need to build three different parts before everything fits together. And each of those three parts require you to run around the area collecting all kinds of resources before you can start building it, and those also require different crafting objects like a cutter and a grinder which you need to build first. Quite a big demand isn’t it.
Just like Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley, the villagers have relationship meters that you can increase by interacting with them, giving them gifts and playing Rock, Paper, Scissors or sparring with them. If you really like some one, you can even truly befriend and be romantic with them. There is even the option to go on small adventures with your loved ones that are actually really cute. If all comes along, you can also choose for marriage (same gender marriage is in the game as well) and even have kids!
If you think you have plenty to do already, then say hello to an elevator that brings you to the mines of Portia. Here you uncover a voxel based dungeon where you can mine to your hearts content, using these ores for more building tools. You can even find treasures and entire new area’s full of enemies. Having enemies offcourse also means that you will need weapons and have to fight. Making weapons and having combat is a nice addition, but the combat isn’t one of the best parts of the game just yet.
Combat in the game is very simplistic, you have one main attack button and a dodge button. You use these to defeat everything from small enemies to bigger bosses. This certainly won’t wow players of what the game has to offer, but the bosses can be a fun side activity to do when you mine your ore and take on more and harder tasks for the villagers.
If there is one annoying hurdle on the game it’s the loading times, now the developer did release a day one patch improving it a little. But it can still feel like ages going from the home menu screen to the game and back. the game also has it pretty rough in bigger battles. Not that the game freezes or anything, but you see the Switch having it rough during these moments. We do believe that with future updates everything will smoothen out further, but for now it’s something to take notice on if you want a really streamlined game to play.
My Time At Portia is an enormous game to take in. The building missions can feel overwhelming at first and so does the crafting system. But take your time and before you know it you will feel completely immersed in the world of Portia, just be sure to keep your game booted up and in standby for now.