Early Access Preview: My Time At Portia

With the growing popularity of farming and life sims, it’s not surprising to see another one spring up from the ground.  But Pathea Games have more ambitious plans, creating a whole 3D world which feels like it’s teeming with life and hidden opportunities.

My Time At Portia is a Steam Early Access title, meaning that it’s not quite finished and it’s available at a much lower price in order to help the developer tweak things and get feedback from the community.  That said, this is the most complete and least bug ridden Early Access title I’ve seen on Steam and it’s well worth your time.  Thankfully, Publisher Team 17 have also seen the opportunity to take Pathea Games under their wing so we will be assured of a release on consoles later in the year.

The game starts with your character inheriting your father’s old workshop after he goes away on some mysterious adventure.  A welcoming town representative shows you to your workshop and leaves you to get acquainted with the place.   On entering, you realise that you’ve already got work to do; the floorboards need fixing and you’ll need to go out and find some wood to repair them before you can get any sleep.  Some welcome that is, but it’s a great way to get you used to the process of gathering items and using them.  This same Workshop acts as your hub, allowing you to make anything in your blueprint book using a set of tools (which you’ll need to build before you can start anything else) in the garden area.  It also allows you to start planting items, though this can be expanded as you buy more land.

Naturally, not everything is made of wood and it’s not long before the town’s people start to commission you to make other more complicated items.  Some of the items require chasing after animals, others require mining.  There are also rarer materials found in the caves dotted around the edges of the town, though these also contain monsters that need to be fought.  Being a more laid back game, these battles aren’t overly complicated, though, and use a simple control scheme for fighting.  Better weapons and tools can, of course, make things a lot easier.

It’s worth noting that this game looks fantastic.  The art style is somewhere between Breath of the Wild and a younger kids Saturday morning cartoon, though don’t let that put you off, it works very well in this style of game and it’s a joy to go and find new areas.  The people you meet all have their own personalities and are voice acted as well, quite impressive for a game this size.  The world is well built and you feel as if you are part of something living.

If I had a criticism at the moment it’s that the cost of everything is so high, particularly if you’re wanting to upgrade your tiny workshop.  Parts and materials can take a serious amount of work to afford.  Hopefully this might get balanced out in future updates, though.

With so much to do and a gentle learning curve, plus the wonderfully imagined world, My Time At Portia is well worth picking up in Early Access.  The game will eventually make its way to Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch later this year but you can grab a copy now from Steam for £15.99.

 

 

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