While browsing Steam today I noticed a game called ‘My time in Portia’ sitting in the top sellers list. I’m always a sucker for pretty cartoony art styles in games and I quickly found myself flicking through the screenshots and reading the reviews. The real pull for me with this game though was it’s similarities to Stardew valley, a game I cannot speak highly enough of. So once home, I purchased it, kicked off the download and went off to make a cup of tea.
I have since played a good couple of hours and will share my experience.
The story starts off as a simple one, you are turning up by boat to take over your fathers workshop. So far all I know is your father isn’t here, he isn’t dead, he’s just not here. The workshop is on the outskirts of the main town and is surrounded by farm land, water and odd creatures.
You are welcomed to the town and asked to complete tasks to prove you are up to the challenge of being one of the towns workmen. These tasks aren’t too hard and mainly involve crafting an axe and a pickaxe. You are then asked to wonder around the world and meet all the useful people, people such as shop keepers, doctors, the mayor, the pub owner.
After about half an hours play, you have run through the basic tutorial and can start to decide what you want to do. The game strongly pushes you in a direction but you can’t change your priorities based on what you fancy doing.
The main quest you are given is to build a bridge over to an island and you learn that you aren’t the only workman in the town. Five other workers are pitched up against yourself and all are currently better than you. You get to meet the top man, who of course is nasty piece of work ready to beat you how ever he needs to. He is very upset that you get to build the bridge.
A bridge didn’t seem like it was going to be that hard but it turns out I was wrong. Lots of the parts or resources I needed, I had no idea how to get. I had the ability to put up the blueprint for the parts of the bridge I needed but many of the resources needed were out of my reach. So I played around with the building tool for a while I found I could make other crafting stations, so I started to work on them.
With things like the furnace and grinder in place I was well on my way to sorting a bridge. There was still items I had no idea how to find, and after a google search I found I needed to enter a place called the ruins and dig for them. So I trudged off to find the ruins and see how I enter. It turned out it cost 80g and with my currently total at 0g I found myself a bit stuck. I wondered round the town looking glum until I found a shop keeper willing to give me gold for my items, so I shuffled through my inventory and sold him everything I thought I could afford to give away. I now had a whopping total of 20g!
My next 20 minutes was spent trying to find out how to make enough gold to get into the ruins to dig for parts. I had a quest to build a fishing rod which would land me another 20g so I started working on that. One item I needed was cotton and I’d read the best way to get this was to kick trees, I’m not sure why but it didn’t seem to work. All I got was rubber fruits, green pear like fruits which I had no idea what to do with. After trying lots of trees I gave up and decided to sell the rubber fruits, more in desperation than anything. It turns out they sold at 3g each and I had 15, so suddenly stood there was 45g plus the 20g I had before I was nearly there.
By the time it was getting late, the game runs with a similar mechanic to Stardew Valley where it only saves when you sleep. So I went to sleep and then spent the morning gathering the last of the rubber fruits I needed, strangely while gathering those I did end up finding the cotton I had been searching for before, even so, I pushed onto the ruins.
The first ruins you come across are abandoned and have no monsters inside, so you are free to just explorer and mine. You are given a scanner and a jetpack when you enter and are told you will need both, this seemed an odd combination but I found it did work. You have to scan for hidden treasure and then use your pickaxe to dig towards it, your jetpack then comes in handy to fly out the huge hole you just dug. While digging for treasure you are also picking up copper and tin which come in useful later.
The next day I got some mail asking me to join the town in a meeting which they hold every month, 7pm sharp! I decided to take them up on this offer and was pleasantly surprised to find everyone else had turned up. A few announcements were made but it was mainly about me and my bridge.
I spent the next few days digging in the ruins and building up my equipment ready to start work on the next bridge. I’ve been smelting ores, crafting items and running items back and forth to people who needed them and are willing to pay me for my services. When I shut it down for the night I was just getting into a position to craft my next axe, so I can cut down bigger trees for better wood, which I need to make the bridge. Exciting times.
The game has been enjoyable and I am always drawn to these games that build a world for you and let you evolve your own plot of land. As mentioned before I loved Stardew Valley and if this turns out to be a 3D version of that then I’ll love it. We shall see over the next few weeks if I progress with it. Even so, the game has a lot to offer and it’s still in development so we’ll see plenty more. I would say it’s in a real solid place with a good platform and has the potential to make some thing really fun here.