[Review] My time at Portia – Nintendo Switch

Written by Kieran Fifield
  • Developer: Pathea Games
  • Publisher: Team 17
  • Release Date: 16/04/2019
  • Price: $29.99 / £24.99
  • Review code provided by Team 17

My Time at Portia

My Time at Portia offers perpetual gameplay in a gorgeous 3D sandbox. The island of Portia itself is a beautifully bizarre place crammed with stunning landscapes, crazy creatures and wacky townsfolk. The premise of the game is simple. Build, create, explore and make Portia the most opulent of places. From the time your boat makes birth at the port and you are greeted by the mayor, all the way through the entirety of your time spent at Portia, you will meet and interact with the most quirky and likeable characters.

The game itself looks lovely, adopting a cartoon cel shaded aesthetic that really improves on the pixelated style more akin to titles of this nature.
Saying that, My Time at Portia is quite the beast, offering crafting, building and exploration in abundance.

My time with a Porsche 911

The real beauty of My time at Portia is the way in which it allows you to experience it at your own pace. Whether you intend to smash through all your objectives, improving the humble town of Portia infinitely along the way, or simply go and collect rocks, ores and possibly ancient objects in the ancient ruins.

Why not go and frolic with the vivacious llamas populating the nearby fields? Or try and work out how to make a new piece of gear for your workshop!! The game world is bustling with life and intrigue and wherever you look there is something to do or see. Maybe an NPC will need some help and offer you a side quest? If they do, it will only help to build your relationship and could earn you some bare dollar* in the process.

*In game currency is called Gols.

Spending some time everyday in Portia quickly made it perfectly clear how thriving the economy is in this post apocalyptic world. Everything requires money, from upgrading item slots to exploring the abandoned ruins. I would actually strongly recommend upgrading your inventory space as soon as possible as being able to collect more loot means you have more selling power and can swiftly build up a war chest.

My Time with Portia De Rossi

Relationships play a key role in My Time at Portia. With such a plethora of non playable characters to interact with, its no surprise that the option to date, fall in love and marry is present. As it very much should be in 2019, same sex relationships are very much on the cards, meaning you can literally date whoever you want, that is of course if you’ve got the gift of the gab.

Building relationships, regardless of your intentions or end goals is one of my absolute favourite things to do in My Time at Portia. Learning the habits and locations of whoever you happen to be chinsing, whilst bordering on stalking, adds.yet another layer to proceedings, yet another thing to try and remember to do whilst performing your dailies. Much like in real life, there really isn’t a better feeling of giving a gift. Celebration days are the perfect opportunity to do so, rolling around regularly. Fishing day rolls around often and offer better catch rates and rarer fish.

I received a letter on the 15th day of the month stating that I needed to offer a gift for an upcoming celebration. I made my way to the quest marker and then handed over some animal faeces as the aforementioned gift. It was frowned upon, yet strangely, accepted.
When the 18th rolled around, a hot air balloon and a Zeppelin appeared above the town square.
Gifts rained from the sky as the entire population of Portia rapidly began scurrying below to claim the presents. Seeing all of the townsfolk engaging in social situations like this was just further evidence of the nature of the beast that is My Time at Portia.

Save me a Portian

Crafting in My time in Portia is almost as varied as the game world and islands inhabitants. Everything that you collect can be used to some extent. Trees are famed for wood to make planks and then structures, copper and bronze for tools. The abandoned ruins, remnants of an ancient civilisation offer the perfect place to dig. Alongside all the precious ore, you might even discover some rare items too.

Resource management is important as inventory space is limited, at least until some more spaces are unlocked. Selling items allows you to free up space and earn a little money in the process. The balancing act between selling what is expendable and what is relevant to your active quests is difficult to juggle.

My Time at Portia excels in creating an escape from reality, that somehow still feels quite lifelike. Poor decisions will have consequences and spending money irrationally will leave you broke. Hoarding and saving will afford you a nest egg which will prove invaluable in later island life.

Conclusion

My time at Portia excels at bringing the traditionally top down, pixel art heavy style of the farming/resource management sim to the modern day, offering character and charm in abundance. The ability to play the game at your own pace – choosing adventure and exploration through ancient ruins or simply collecting enough wood and stone, to name but a few, to craft new structures means that My time at Portia is perfect for casual gamers or hardcore sim enthusiasts alike, as well as lending itself incredibly well to a whole plethora of play styles. What Pathea Games have created is a uniquely enjoyable title that offers so much content. With the addition of event themed DLC could literally be the game that keeps on giving.

When Nintendo eventually releases Animal Crossing later this year, they’re going to have to do something really special to take me away from my daily visit to Portia.

I’ve barely scratched the surface with My Time at Portia, 100 hours wouldn’t be enough to ably do this title justice. And you know what? That’s what I like most about this captivating, continuously evolving title.

Pros

  • Perpetually playable
  • So much to see and do
  • Utterly engulfing

Cons

  • A few performance issues
  • Days are too short
  • Utterly engulfing

Verdict
My Time at Portia offers all the classic tropes of the crafting and farming genres that so heavily inspired it, all served in a delicious 3D package.
4/5
Fifield

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