my time at por­tia

Hard work has never seemed so ap­peal­ing

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - START - Daniella Lu­cas Pub­lisheR Team17 Developer Pathea For­mat Xbox One ETA Au­gust 2018

Your ab­sent fa­ther has left you a little wooden shack of a work­shop in a lo­ca­tion you’ve never vis­ited be­fore in an ef­fort to give you a roof over your head, but you’ll have to do loads of hard work to get it up and run­ning to pro­vide an in­come. It’s got a lot of holes that need fix­ing, but he wasn’t around to help you grow­ing up be­fore this any­way, so you’re more than ca­pable of han­dling this on your own. He might not ex­actly be fa­ther of the year, but at least it’s some­thing. It’s up to you to es­tab­lish your­self in the town of Por­tia and help peo­ple out by craft­ing in­creas­ingly com­plex items for them.

Like in Minecraft, you start by gath­er­ing wood and stone to build a few tools that in turn will help you gather more ma­te­ri­als. Once you’ve gath­ered enough you’ll be able to craft all sorts of dif­fer­ent work­benches to help you do things like make tasty food and smelt metal. All of the smaller items will feed into larger ones through var­i­ous recipes as you progress. If you go min­ing for ore, you could craft metal bars which can then be turned into parts for larger con­struc­tions, such as a wa­ter wheel, to help out the lo­cal res­i­dents.

Por­tia it­self is huge, with a town, large ar­eas of farm­land, forests, and even dun­geons to ex­plore in your ef­forts to find bet­ter ma­te­ri­als. You’ll find scraps of wood and stone on the ground as you walk around, but for the rarer stuff you’ll need to ven­ture far from your work­shop and even fight mon­sters to make them drop their pre­cious loot.

All of the en­e­mies we’ve seen so far have been ut­terly adorable, so we do feel a little bit guilty about slic­ing them up for their fur and meat. Es­pe­cially the cute little lla­mas we spot­ted frol­ick­ing in a field be­hind our base. Too bad we like mak­ing so­fas with their skin. Even­tu­ally you’ll be able to up­grade your work­shop and add things like fur­ni­ture or new work­benches, such as cook­ing pots to help you craft new items.

Meet and greet

The fight­ing is sim­plis­tic, with straight­for­ward sword swings, but there are skills such as eva­sive speed boosts and tool pro­fi­ciency up­grades to give you a bit more of an edge and help you cus­tom­ize your char­ac­ter to your lik­ing. The styling op­tions were quite lim­ited when we saw them, but should be more var­ied in the fi­nal ver­sion.

There’s more than your own char­ac­ter to con­sider, though. The whole area is full of new peo­ple to meet and ro­mance by giv­ing them items or com­plet­ing quests. From mer­chants and farmhands to strange bears in bathrobes, there’s a lot of peo­ple to talk to that add per­son­al­ity to the world. That said, we hope the fi­nal game has more, to pro­vide more di­ver­sity and longevity for the game.

What we’ve seen of Por­tia is won­der­fully bright and cheery; it has a home­li­ness to it that re­minds us a lot of the likes of Stardew Val­ley. It looks warm and invit­ing, and the demo we played felt full of things to do al­ready, so it should be pos­i­tively burst­ing with quests once the fin­ished game rolls around.

While My Time At Por­tia does feel like it sits some­where be­tween

Minecraft and Stardew, it’s dif­fer­ent enough to of­fer some­thing fans of both haven’t seen be­fore. If you’re a fan of re­lax­ing farm­ing games and chilled-out worlds then this is worth keep­ing an eye on.

“It has a home­li­ness to it that re­minds us a lot of the likes of Stardew Val­ley”

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