My Time at Portia is a simulation open world RPG game. The world is set in a post-apocalypse setting. Humans are few and relics from the past are everywhere. The player will need to start a new life in a town on the edge of civilization called Portia. The player will start a workshop and build things with relics from the past for the betterment of society. The goal of the game is to make the workshop as big as possible.
The game is developed by Pathea Games and published by Team17 Digital and will be available on Steam in Early 2018.
My Time At Portia
Gameplay & Sound
My Time at Portia is a post-apocalyptic RPG boasting an alloy of farming, crafting, and relationship building elements. The colourful environment design is contrasting to the post apocalyptic theme of the game. The game draws inspiration from similar critically acclaimed titles like Harvest Moon and Terraria, but the game features some unique aspects which makes it a notch better than its counterparts. While the game is also somewhat similar to another similar indie title, Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, the game lacks a definite story as such which is present in the former; the sole objective of the players is to expand their workshop, which they have inherited from their father.
The game begins with the character arriving on Portia and being asked by the Commissioner of Portia to do a few preliminary tasks to acquire the builder’s license. The first thing that disappointed me was the absence of voice over dialogues which made the NPC interactions seemingly bland. The game doesn’t have many gameplay mechanics to boast about, but the developers have made sure that the ones which are present aren’t shallow. Farming in the game, for instance, is pretty fun as there a variety of ways to gather materials for crafting. While stones, woods and other materials can be found spread across the game’s beautiful open world, certain items can only be bought at stores. Money and other resources can also be acquired by beating and looting random townspeople. Although it gets necessary to beat up some townsmen (and its fun), it is equally important to build a good relationship with ample number of townsmen to get more contracts. Moreover, a relationship might also end up in a marriage. The in depth relationship building elements of the game, further elevate the game.
Mining is equally fun, as there are certain mines abundant with resources, while other specifically filled with monsters, each providing a unique adventure. Mining in the game is inspired by Terraria but fairly unique too as the players have to farm resources by digging specific highlighted areas which offer random rewards. Like other games of the genre, a major amount of time is spent on farming resources, but as I said earlier, farming in the game provides an exhilarating experience, thanks to the game’s creative farming mechanics., and the ability to beat up a few people (which is indeed fun) along the way to acquire some resources. The combat mechanics are equally good, further making the overall gameplay mechanics flawless. The game does give the opportunity to players to fight townsmen at random, with the combat sequences characterizing fighting stages (open grounds with a highlighted boundary to be precise) with a few villagers turning up as spectators to witness a melee styled combat.
The character customization is inspired by Sims, giving the users the option to customize the facial attributes of their character. There are special character upgrades which can be unlocked with skill points, which in turn can be gained as the player progresses through the game. The character upgrades makes sure that the game doesn’t get repetitive soon, by throwing out a wide array of upgrades for the players to make. The game also hinders the progress one can make in a single day (a day in the game) by using the SP bar, which can be replenished after a small nap. While the game draws ample inspiration from other games of the same genre, the gameplay has enough unique aspects to stand out among its peers.
The sound design in the game is harmonized, calming and is pretty well blended with the phenomenal environment. The music changes to a rather adventurous and energetic tone amidst a battle, further emphasizing the atmosphere. The only drawback in the sound design is the lack of audio over dialogues, which makes the NPC encounters insipid. Overall, the well composed music compensates for it to some extent, thereby preventing the sound design from being just a mediocre element of the game.
Story & Narrative
The game lacks a proper, focused story as such and the main motive in the game is to enlarge the player’s workshop by taking up contracts, farming and crafting things. There is a brief introduction at the very beginning though, where the Commissioner of Portia reveals a letter from the character’s father, stating that he has left a workshop for him and a Handbook to assist him in his journey.
The game’s only flaw is the lackluster and insipid narrative and story. The narrative in the game feels rather bland with the absence of audio cues over dialogues. Each NPC interaction is a bit unique though as each one of them have their own story, but the lack of a definite story makes the game a bit mundane.
Graphics and Performance
My Time at Portia is undoubtedly one of the best looking games in it’s genre. The stellar open world further elevates the game. Its well designed characters and environment makes sure that the game excels in this department too. Many a time, I would end up staring at the excellent art style of the game for a few moments. The characters, apart from being well designed, have an adorable and cutesy touch to it (like, a sea urchin carrying an umbrella while its raining and a big fat ladybug with an adorable, big smile). The environmental diversity impressed me the most.Deserts, islands, reefs, highlands, marshlands, and everything one could think of is present in this artistic game. Moreover, there are day-night and weather cycles in the game which affects the availability of NPCs and the work are they are engaged in. Overall, the graphic design is one of the most compelling aspect of this game.
We tested the game on a PC with the following specs-
1) Intel Pentium Dual Core E5500 @2.8 Ghz
2) 4GB DDR3 RAM
3) GTX 1050 2GB DDR5
The game ran unexpectedly well (considering the game is still in closed alpha stages) on the highest settings on 768p. Though the loading times were a bit too much at times, we didn’t face any other bugs as such. The game is a bit heavy on GPU, so a good GPU is recommended. Considering that the game is in closed alpha and is still in development, the performance of the game is phenomenal.
My Time at Portia is indeed a worth buying game for people who are looking for a game similar to Stardew Valley and Harvest Moon. Although the game is fairly complete even in Closed Alpha, it will be interesting to see how Pathea further improves their game. Gameplay, sound and graphics, the game excels in all these departments ignoring the minute flaws. It is indeed one of those games too look out for when it releases in early 2018.