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Review

My Time at Portia

My Time at Portia is game where the player becomes part of the game. Such game can be enjoyed by every demographic. The calming atmosphere shows that this game is a great iyashikei experience!

Start a new life in the enchanting town of Portia! Restore your Pa’s neglected workshop to its former glory by fulfilling commissions, growing crops, raising animals, and befriending the quirky inhabitants of this charming post-apocalyptic land!

Armed with your Pa’s old handbook and workbench, you must gather, mine and craft your way to being crowned the number one workshop in Portia. Help the locals rebuild the town and uncover the secrets locked deep away beneath it. Be prepared though…it won’t be easy!

The town of Portia is full of friendly new faces for you to meet. Make friends, complete requests, exchange gifts, go on dates and let romance blossom!

Inspired by the magic of Studio Ghibli, My Time at Portia whisks you away to a world of wonder that you won’t forget. How will you spend your time at Portia?

My Time at Portia, Synopsis from Team17 Digital

Technicalities

My Time at Portia is a role-playing game developed by Pathea Games and published by Team17 Digital. This is a family-friendly video game where you take the role of a builder returning to Portia. After roughly 80 hours of playtime, I must say My Time at Portia a game worth spending your time on. The game is rich in side quests and quite a number of main quests.

Your character is customizable at the start of the game: name, gender, hair color, hairstyle, skin color, and birthday. You can still modify hairstyle, hair color, and appearance later in the game as those involve completing side quests. Your character has a typical RPG-style mechanics: you earn XPs and level up to buff your character by spending skill points, equip better clothing to increase your health, stamina, attack, and defense points. As for the inventory system, you can expand your in-character inventory by paying it for a few Gols (in-game currency) so you can carry more items. You can craft storage boxes in your Workshop if you need to unload some from your pocket.

On the technical side of things, My Time at Portia is built with Unity game engine but the game isn’t that optimized. Based on my observations, this game needs more processing resources compared to Monster Hunter: World and can sometimes stutter. Stuttering is very noticeable when playing the game on slow hard drives. This game has native support for controllers. Controls are switched on the fly so you don’t have to go to the settings and manually switch the input settings. This neat little feature allows you to switch from mouse/keyboard to controller and vice versa any time without disruptions. If you want to play from the comfort of your couch, your gaming chair, or maybe even the toilet if remote streaming to your phone is your thing, My Time at Portia has you covered.

The Atmosphere of Portia

The art style of My Time at Portia is fairly close to chibi style while creating a great mix of western cartoon style with a subtle flavor of Japanese anime style. The art style is also made to be minimalist making it look wonderful for an iyashikei adventure genre. For those who don’t know, iyashikei is a sub-genre of slice-of-life that portrays the characters living out in peace. My Time at Portia just (somehow) fits the description.

The music of Portia is just amazing! Like I mentioned how this game fits the description of an iyashikei genre, the soundtrack proves this. Every season has its own theme music. Every event has a fitting music. Even battle music isn’t composed to make the player feel they’re in a battle.

How Open is the World of Portia?

Portia is a small city-state and is part of the Alliance of Free Cities. Is this something I’d define as an open-world video game? While I don’t know how you’d define open world, I’d say this is definitely an open world video game. While most of the plot takes place in either in the Peach Plaza or in the Central Plaza, you do get to access new game areas as you progress in the game and it’s not just access to areas: new features are unlocked as well.

Aside from unlocking game areas, you can also meet and get to know the townsfolk of Portia. You can build up relationships with them and even earn a few perks depending on how close you are to them. It could be something as them gifting you to discounts at their stores. Some Portians may approach you to complete some side quests. Completing such quests earn you relationship points with the corresponding character. You can even marry the girl/guy you find the cutest and have children later on in the game.

Because you’re joining the community of Portia, it is worth noting that Mayor Gale hosts several community events you can participate in (or not if you’re a little too busy). Joining these events are completely optional but in doing so, you might learn more about the history of Portia or win some badges you can exchange for useful items. Catch as much fish as you can during the Fishing Day, spar some townsfolk in the Martial Arts Tournament, or cook the best meals in the Autumn Festival during your stay in Portia.

What about the actual gameplay?

Now that those small stuffs are out of the way, allow me to start discussing the core gameplay. This might be a little turn off but My Time at Portia can feel like a grinding game. What you’ll usually do with this game is that you assemble a lot of stuffs like a full-size construction crane that fits in your pocket. But to be able to do that, you will be quarrying for ores to smelt and cutting down trees for their wood a lot. Aside from those two, there’s kicking trees for some drops, killing some monsters for their loots, fertilizing plants to harvest, exploring hazardous and abandoned ruins for parts, ruin diving to find relic parts, and completing commissions to earn some Gols.

How does these make My Time at Portia a grinding game? Short answer: it doesn’t. While it’s true that you will be gathering a lot of supplies to be able to complete commissions (hence, progress in the game), but an entire day of quarrying at one abandoned ruin could last you some two to three weeks of supply of ores. The same things goes with logging: cutting down three or four trees could supply your furnace a few days of fuel. As for monster loots or other materials, you can put up a commission to the Civil Corps and they’ll gather you some materials in your stead. As for commissions, the Commerce Guild limits how many commissions you can accept per day. You also have a limited stamina so the game limits how much you can do per day. My Time at Portia balances the grinding element and the other gameplay elements enough to not make the game look something like a GTA Online grindfest.

Is this game perfect?

The main story itself is finished but Pathea Games still push out some updates every now and then. Some of these updates include new side quests, bug fixes, and the like.

Is the game incomplete? Sadly, yes. There are some cutscenes that do not have voice overs and background music. While these doesn’t affect the gameplay, I do hope that those are addressed sooner.

There are some commerce commissions where you need to obtain some materials that are in locked areas of the game. So far, this may be a small bug I encountered where the gameplay is affected. Perhaps this an intended feature? I don’t know. I am always forced to cancel the commission and lose some relationship points.

As for controls, it gets clunky at times. This is most noticeable when using the cooking set. A slight delay may ruin the dish you’re preparing because of it.

Despite being a wonderful game, this doesn’t negate the fact that there are defects in the game. I do hope that the developers address these issues despite being a small and non-breaking issues.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of content that I had to miss mentioning in this review but I have to wrap things up. My Time at Portia is a wonderful family-friendly game that can be enjoyed by every demographic. The calming atmosphere, the minimal yet cute art style, and the ability to romance characters, and the ability to be part of the community of Portia makes the players feel loved. This game is definitely worth playing despite being a single-player-only experience.

That said, we give My Time at Portia a Green Mochi Stamp!

My Time at Portia is game where the player becomes part of the game. Such game can be enjoyed by every demographic. The calming atmosphere shows that this game is a great iyashikei experience!

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