my time at portia
Hard work has never seemed so appealing
You can try an Early Access version on PC before the final polished game launches on Xbox One
“It has a homeliness to it that reminds us a lot of the likes of Stardew Valley”
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 customise 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 worth keeping an eye on.