Each new in-game day is full of possibilities. Grow crops, make friends, occasionally receive dire warnings about mankind’s hubris, the usual. My Time at Portia is a colorfully upbeat crafting sim that lures you into a cute world where most of humanity was destroyed in a massive apocalyptic event. Also, there’s giant mutated ladybugs who wear ties, cute!
The premise behind Pathea Games’ post-apocalyptic life sim first caught our attention during it’s successful Kickstarter campaign. Promising a mixture somewhere between Animal Crossing and Rune Factory, the game is releasing in Early Access on January 23rd, 2018. The current build offers roughly 25 hours of content to explore with more on the way as the devs implement player feedback and add story content.
So, let me tell you about My Time at Portia. The game kicks off with character creation. Here you decide who you are and what color hair you’ll have. The correct choice is blue. After you’ve named your character it’s time to set sail for the coastal city of Portia.
Upon arrival you are shown to a rundown workshop just outside of the city walls. This was your Pa’s place and he’s left it to you. Since the few towns that remain are low-key rebuilding civilization, new builders are welcomed warmly. After securing your builder license you are invited to take jobs from the commission board to earn some money. Now the fun really begins.
My Time at Portia charms you with its fanciful simplicity before blindsiding you with its deeper mechanics. Initially, crafting appears relatively simple and straightforward. At least, right up until you’re scrambling to dig up relics of the forgotten world to complete your latest commission on time. Relics, which the townsfolk are quick to remind you may have lead to the previous fall of humanity, so you know, be careful with those.
All in a Day’s Work
You’ll spend much of your day gathering various resources. Every action takes a certain amount of stamina to perform and once you’ve run out you’re pretty much useless until the next morning. As such, bigger projects require careful planning if you want to get all the materials you’ll need before it’s time to hit the hay.
In addition to your thriving workshop business, you’ll also want to spend time on your social life. The inhabitants of Portia are mostly friendly (except your rival Higgins). You can chat them up for daily social points, or distribute gifts to your favorites. Eventually, your interactions can lead to romance with one (or more) eligible townsfolk.
Currently, my best friend seems to be a local bear who wears a robe and spends his days fishing. I think we’re waiting to see how his adopted human son reacts before we take things further.
After several hours with the Early Access build of My Time at Portia, I’m hooked. The need to complete just one more task before calling it a night draws you in and the satisfaction (and pay) from turning in commissions and sticking it to Higgins keeps progress satisfying. Between uncovering the secrets of the past and building a promising future, My Time at Portia has plenty to offer.