So we’ve traveled from the Mars Colony in Solstice Chronicles: MIA and now find ourselves on a peaceful little town called Portia, what a huge difference! My Time at Portia is a game that feels a lot like Harvest Moon meets Stardew Valley, but with its own unique appeal that creates a very heartwarming experience. We don’t really get to see that many building type RPGs these days outside of say Dragon Quest Builders, but that game is on another level of its own. My Time at Portia is a colorful adventure that takes you around town collecting items to take back to your workshop so that you can build your credibility in town, and get a nice shiny license for your hard work. Anyone who’s a fan of building things whether it be a chair, a stone stove or whatever My Time at Portia is really a fun experience that allows you to go just about anywhere you please, so long as it’s on the map.
What to Expect
Open world games are becoming more and more prevalent these days because they provide players with the ability to travel beyond what the eyes can see, and create this limitless adventure that takes your imagination on many illustrious journeys. In My Time at Portia, you start off by creating your own character and from there you walk around doing daily missions, while also trying to spruce up the house you live in. Since the game is in alpha at the moment, a lot of the voice overs aren’t implemented so you don’t really get to develop a personal attachment to your character, but that’s okay because the rest of the world around you is so immerse that you’ll probably forget anyway. Running around for hours just chopping down trees to collect wood never felt so endearing, while being able to punch a local in the face for no reason and receive rewards for it is also a nice treat. My Time at Portia allows you to go at your own pace and not rely on a timer to get things done around town, all you need to do is visit the city hall to grab more quests and you’re on your way again. Much like any RPG a lot of your time will be spent just wandering and scouring the environment for important things, or maybe just smacking a few enemies in the head with your pickaxe to level up your character. Whatever your prerogative your time in Portia will be a satisfying one.
Your father left you with a house that he built and a few tools lying around for you to build more things, and that’s pretty much how the adventure begins. It’s a very simple concept that has a very simple principle: collect and gain reward. Much like Harvest Moon, you’re not playing so much for the story or how the character develops unlike other RPGs, but you’re more concentrated on creating this beautiful assortment of items that help you to build status with the townspeople, which in turn gives you more to do. The game does a good job of guiding you through the process of creation and your father’s guidebook is quite the essential accessory since it teaches you just about everything. On the surface, My Time at Portia looks to be a bit shallow because it’s still in alpha and so a lot of content isn’t there yet, but when you start to really fool around with the game there’s actually a lot that comes with the package (a free one at that since it’s labeled as a “demo”). For a demo, the game seems to give you a lot to do which is nice thing, and perhaps other companies should take note of this because aside from the missing audio cues in cutscenes My Time at Portia really felt complete.
Visually the game is beautiful to look at and being able to transform your main character into some real flamboyant looking being is fantastic. As the town evolves you’ll need to keep up because other builders in town want the same reward as you, which is to grow their shops and gain more appeal. Doing activities requires the use of stamina which refills after using it for a while, but at a very slow pace. So for example, when chopping down a tree your stamina bar will decrease but leave for a while and it’ll slowly replenish. Speaking of stamina, remember how we mentioned earlier about how you can fight other townspeople? Well, let’s dive a little deeper into that for a moment. This is one feature you certainly will not find in Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon which is what makes My Town at Portia it’s own game. Some villagers in the game are quite the prickly bunch and there are times when you just want to stuff your fist down their throat to scold them, and you definitely can. Since everyone is in direct competition with each other for money, it’s sometimes hard to even get a dollar and some change; so why not beat the change out of someone and use it to gather more materials! This is such a fun aspect of the game because you actually can level up your character through fisticuffing people and taking their money as a reward for your efforts (not such a peaceful town is it?). Sadly you’re the one who has to provoke the battle so anyone who seems to get under your skin, just give him or her the one-two punch and get things started.
It really was fun to actually just take a break from all of the material collecting to just knock a few heads off (heads don’t actually fly off) to collect extra pocket change, and then nonchalantly walk away from it all like nothing happened. What would’ve been really cool and perhaps this may even become a thing once the game is fully released, is if the people you pummeled earlier somehow remembered you and then team up to get revenge at some point. That may be a far cry of course but hey, we can all hope. To add even more incentive to these villager beatdowns there’s ore that you need in order to actually build certain things, and of course that costs money. Ore can be obtained in a nearby mining area which Presley tells you to go visit during the early stage of the game. So we thought, well time is money and money right is now kind of tight so why not just throw a few uppercuts and earn a quick buck? Of course our first few attempts at this failed miserably because our level was too low, so this is where the good old fashioned “farming” in RPG games starts to kick in.
We ran around and did the simple quests that were available just to get our rank up and when we felt confident enough, we immediately ran back into town and smacked our rival in the cranium with our shovel and took his loot. Oh gracious gods we thank thee for this plentiful loot, for all we needed was a shovel and a boot. The only downside to this game is that things cost too much during the early phases, and while you do get the nice hefty reward of traveling through various mines for materials you almost feel like your only option is to crack a few skulls and gather raw money from your victims. Now we’re not trying to paint this game as something M-rated or anything because there’s no blood, or limbs that fly across the screen. It’s like Harvest Moon decided to team up with Double Dragon to create an open world RPG beat-em-up builder game. It’s truly fun and we recommend downloading it because it’s free!
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
All jokes aside we really enjoyed My Time in Portia and would certainly play more of it once a lot of the issues are fixed, and of course the full game is released. According to Steam it’s slated to release this coming October, so we’ll definitely keep an eye out for it. Until then we’re really just having a blast running through mines and then running our fists through the stomachs of the townspeople, just for a few laughs. The regular enemies in the game aren’t as fun to beat up as the townspeople, but they still give you a good amount of items to use and build some really cool things. Do we recommend My Time in Portia? For sure because there’s a lot more content coming down the pipeline and that’s good news in our ears.
Beat up the townspeople for extra money.
Open world RPG beat-em-up, enough said.
A plethora of things to build and the crafting system is very easy to understand.
Hours of fun immersive gameplay.
No audio for voice overs made things feel bland.
Animations at times looked a bit stiff.
Honey's Final Verdict:
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Author: Rob "NualphaJPN" B.
A passionate fan of gaming, writing, journalism, anime, and philosophy. I've lived in Japan for many years and consider this place to be my permanent home. I love to travel around Japan and learn about the history and culture! Leave a comment if you enjoy my articles and watch me play on twitch.tv/honeysgaming ! Take care!