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My Time At Portia review
by tanner49

I've spent far more hours than I'd like to admit searching for a game that fills my build-your-life itch. I played Harvest Moon: A Wonderful Life as a kid, but as I grew older its simplicity eventually kept me from playing it for more than a couple of weeks at a time. Stardew Valley had all the bells and whistles, but since I was looking for a game that completely captures you in a new life, a couldn't get past the graphics. 

My Time at Portia not only ticks all the boxes for me, but fills some holes I didn't know existed. I find the bright animation enthralling, and always feel like I'm entering a better world. There is also always plenty to do in My Time at Portia, though there aren't hard deadlines for the most part, so you can take things at your own speed. The majority of your time is spent building commissions for the town and for individuals. In order to do this you need to collect various materials, both to upgrade your workshop and fulfill commissions. You collect most of the materials in mines. There are abandoned mines with a fairly standard "pick-axe-discovery" mechanism, as well as hazardous mines-- think extremely watered down Zelda dungeon. You could technically go full Harvest Moon/ Stardew Valley, raising animals and planting crops, but it would be a meager living. This didn't bother like I thought it might though. I found the exactly how I spent my time wasn't as important as where I spent it and who I spent it with.

And Portia is a great place to spend your time. The NPCs are fairly complex for the game, so I didn't have the same sensation of taking to the same mechanical, one-dimensional robots over and over again. The dating mechanism is fairly complex. Once you are friends you can ask someone out on a date, and if you date multiple people at once, you could even get caught!

There is so much to do in Portia that its hard to review it all. I'll just say that I find it a charming town and plan on going back time and time again. 
«Blew my mind»
«Can’t stop playing»

Other reviews2

Translated by
Microsoft from Deutsch
Early Access Review After currently 41 Hours of play and End of the EA story campaign, I wanted to give a little Feedback about the Game. For all those wondering if it's already worth buying the Game. Short Answer: Yes, it does! What is the Game about? As an heiress to a Craftsman'S Shop, a new Life begins in the City of Portia. Due to a past Catastrophe, many Technologies have been Forgotten and one has to rediscover them by Excavating them in the Ruins. Gradually you build up a Workshop with different Workstations and unlock new blueprints. In addition, you can also grow a little vegetable/fruit (which so far is quite manageable) and make friends with the Residents. The Main Task is to Complete construction Contracts, which are received in the Commercial Guild Of the City. Some Jobs are easy and quick to complete, some also take several Days and different Work Steps. There are also ruins and Dungeons to explore where rare Materials are found and opponents can be fought. The Combat System is a bit more ordinary, but quite fun when you have the Hang of it (little Tip: Invest as early as possible in good equipment and put Furniture in your house to improve your Stats. That works Wonders!). There are quite Parallels with Stardew Valley, but the Game just borrows ideas here and makes something of its own out of it, which I think is very good. Unlike many Early Access Titles, all basic Mechanics have already been implemented and some Story is already included. From finding a Thief to steal personal Belongings of city Dwellers, to a suddenly poisoned River, to Building a Road to the Neighbouring Town, you can experience it all now. What I find particularly nice: As a Player you have the Feeling of really influencing the Game world. If the City commissions you, for example, to Build a Transport System, then it can really be used later. Or if you get the Task of building a Bridge, it will actually be built further at every part of the Bridge that has been handed in. You quickly get into the Pull "Just complete this one Job, then I go to Bed." And before you know it's 5 o 'clock in the morning ... As I said, there's already an awful lot at play for Early Access. What leaves something to be desired are the Dialogues with the Townspeople. Some Characters have only a single Sentence. This one is set to music, but at some point it annoys it anyway. The Same applies to Music (one Piece of Music per Season). Also missing some Sounds and from time to time the Music suddenly suspends. But the Game is being developed further and these are certainly Things that will soon be improved. Except for a single Freeze, the Game ran without any major Bugs. The Frame rate in Areas with many Monsters or NPCs should be Optimized, because sometimes it jerks quite nicely. Players who like the quiet Game Mechanics of Stardew Valley, but want to do something other than just Farming, will surely be happy here. I'm excited to see what else the Development Team will make of it, but I'm already looking forward to spending more Time in Portia!