All my Time at Portia
This about sums up my experience with My Time at Portia, after having already dug many hours into the PC sim, I then took the plunge into sinking more hours into the PS4 port, however, it didn’t come so smoothly as some bugs came into play but my experience felt far from ruined. My Time at Portia is best described as a mix of three great games in one, Harvest Moon mixed with Dark Cloud and some Stardew Valley for good measure.
The story is as obvious as you would expect, you arrive on an island that is brimming with a community, you are to restore your father’s workshop and in return, you can live out your life. While it is something we come to expect from Harvest Sim like games it works well for the way it is set up and My Time at Portia ticks many boxes when it comes to building a new life. Portia while it is green and vibrant land it is an island ruined by a past civilization, as you take in the sights you will notice ruins far off into the distance and many artefacts can be acquired as you progress through this land. This also plays a part in how you play as there are two cults each who have a difference of opinion on the old world relics, while the churchgoers are fully against the use of old relics as they worry about the destruction they can have on the world, The Research Centre is only too happy to reward you for such findings and will even bring to life anything you bring them from the explorable ruins. I haven’t found any reason why you can’t help both parties yet and if it does have an effect on the game but that is just one of the joys of finding out.
You do start out with the minimal essentials in My Time at Portia, your first few days will be spent getting to know the locals and fixing the floors in your house just so you can have a decent sleep. Even after all the hours I have put in, I am still meeting new people, the amount of people you can be friends with is so huge and to gain friendship with them all is a monumental task in itself. You will meet with the mayor who instructs you with a task to build a worktable and will give you your builders licence on completion, the builder licence will allow you to create much larger constructs some of which play a crucial part in the story while some are not but are extremely helpful. You are tasked with building a bridge to another island, this opens up the next part of the story and it never feels like you have to rush, the joys of this is in the building yourself. While you can make smaller objects quickly without too much interaction, bigger constructs are outlined with blueprints in a 3D hologram model which requires you to manually place the object which will turn into the item once it is fully complete. These are a fundamental part of My Time at Portia. At first, this was slightly confusing but once you get the hang of it it is the most engaging aspect of the game and really gives you that feeling that you have accomplished something.
In terms of graphics it has a nice cartoon-esque feel to it, that means it is friendly to everyone, although you are on an island on the brink of civilisation the many weird and wonderful creatures you will come across look as harmless as anything, Rainbow Llamas, Ladybugs and Flying Sea Urchins equipped with a mini umbrella. Harmless as they may be they are scattered across the land and if you plan on venturing into the mines later on you need to be well equipped, You have your talent tree which points can be put in either as you level and its not essential as to which is the most important and each is quite varied, some are just more useful than others but in the end it is down to individual preference.
The end goal is pretty much the same one can expect from a sim game of this nature, to be the best builder while helping the townsfolk of Portia. By doing commissions for them and raising your friendship you will reap the benefits in the long run. The game does have a story and because of the vast amount of characters, there is always someone you can go to and befriend further if you have exhausted everybody else for the day. You can marry once you have enough friendship with that special someone and build a bigger house and have a family, you can also use your spouse to do the most boring of chores for the day if you wish to do the more interesting things in life. It is very easy to know where to go as the map gives markers for where and what you should be doing and there is mostly a manageable deadline for any commissions you pick up, the only time I found myself seeking help online is finding out what NPC’s like and don’t like as a gift, I found this out as I realised the neighbourhood cat doesn’t like Milk but loves Fish. (So yeah don’t rely on logic)
The music is great and very fitting for what My Time at Portia represents and with that being said the game comes together very well as a whole for its setting. My one issue was a bug that came into play which had stopped me in my tracks as I wasn’t able to progress the story somewhat after building the first bridge which translated over to the PS4 but this seems to have been fixed now.
There is honestly so much you can do in My Time at Portia that I could spend a whole weekend talking about it so better than that I advise that you should just play it, it is so easy to get sucked in just like you have done with Stardew Valley or similar games and forget that the actual morning sun is coming up rather than just the next one in game.
A PlayStation 4 Review Code was provided by Team 17