My Time at Portia finally makes it triumphant release onto consoles and I got the exciting job with reviewing the Xbox One version of the game. The only problem with that is when I finally felt I had enough info about the game something new popped up and another 10+ hours was gone. This game is an incredible involving time-sink and it is all positive.
The first thing that got me excited when I first started working on this review is the bright and colorful art style the game has. And right of the bat I was tasked with creating and naming my character and the farm I inherited. Then the first main mission hit me like a ton of bricks, almost literally and I was set with rebuilding a bridge and I quickly felt overwhelmed with what to do. Luckily the mission didn't have a time-stamp on it and I could take my time exploring the world and start building smaller machines instead to help me with this giant build project.
It is easy to compare My Time at Portia with Stardew Valley and even though they both have many similarities My Time at Portia gave me some tiny game mechanics that made the experience so much more enjoyable, and for those that know me know I absolutely love Stardew Valley so these are fighting words I am currently writing and a huge endorsement for My Time at Portia.
You can freely roam the town and talk to locals and build relationships with them by either talking to them every day or giving them gifts, there are romance options later on in the game and also the ability to start a family. Some locals even have side missions for you to solve, but you are always free to deny these missions and just roam the world looking for hidden chests with items, go fishing, gather wood or stone, or head into one of the many caves looking for treasures and minerals.
This is one of those game where you need a certain set of something to build something which means there is a lot of backtracking and also using machines to build something for another machine. But none of this felt like a chore at any time which is weird for a game like this but yet another huge compliment.
There are both health and stamina bars for you to manage for your character, which means you cant run around all night looking for treasures as your stamina will deplete if you use enough of it, but when night comes you go to sleep and start fresh the next day. There is also a health bar which you need to manage when you fight enemies and creatures lurking around this beautiful world.
Every item you use such as pickaxe, swords or axe can be upgraded and you must do so to go for the bigger harvests. But all in due time, which again is what this game masters so well, the time management which usually plagues games like this is almost none existing in this game. You choose to do whatever you want whenever you want. Sure there are some specific mission with a time-strain but these are minimal and the time-stamp is usually manageable. There are also events happening around the town at certain time periods which you can choose to take part in and earn rewards or choose to ignore if you want to do something else instead.
Everything you create you can also sell in the different shops spread around time and earn coins which can be used to buy other items you may need. There are also traveling salesmen that pop up from time to time which usually bring more rare items. Also upgrading your workshop and worktables etc usually costs gold as well as certain items, so don't go spending them all in one place. But then again, if you do, there is always time to earn more.
My Time at Portia has been and incredible one, and it still is. I cant seem to put this game down, and whenever I start playing I get lost in the world for hours. It is incredible time consuming but I consumed time with a delightful grin on my face the entire time. My Time at Portia is a beautiful world you should all experience and if you like games like this then this might be one of the best in a long time, at least one of the best one of these I have ever played. Let me just end this by saying the My Time at Portia is a huge contender for my game of the year 2019... There ... I said it.