History and Development
My Time At Portia had been in development for some time, however it had only been released on the Nintendo Switch on April 16, 2019. Before this, it was available via Early Access for PC, receiving even more updates than the Switch version did at launch. An example of it is how voice acting in the PC version did not transfer over to the Switch version at launch, as the developers (Pathea Games) said this was a community project for the PC version, and they were unable to get all contributors to agree to the Switch port at time of release.
The good news is, even without some of the content updates on the Switch’s version launch, the game still felt complete in many ways, as it always had, even in Early Access on PC. There is just so much to the game, it feels almost never-ending.
Main Gameplay Aspects
Overall feedback from My Time At Portia showed comparisons to Stardew Valley, Harvest Moon, and Animal Crossing. A majority of these comparisons resembling Stardew Valley. However, upon playing the game, it can absolutely be differentiated in many ways. This game focuses not only on gaining workshop status, and completing commissions/tasks from your fellow Portia residents, but also relies heavily on your social and relationship status within the town. Socializing and befriending townsfolk can help you by opening up new events, tasks, and choices. You can marry, have children, and even have a nemesis.
Throughout the game, your goal is to raise the ‘Ranking’ of your workshop in the town, which you can attain by taking on commissions for either specific townspeople, or the town as a whole. While you do this, you uncover conflicts and tests of character which are affecting the town.
Features and Key Points
When playing My Time At Portia, you can raise your friendship level with characters in multiple ways. Apart from completing tasks they post on the commissions board in town, you can also ‘talk’ or ‘gift’ your friends. Some characters have the option to play Rock, Paper, Scissors. A few also have the ability to ‘spar’ with you. When you choose to spar, the character will duel you. You can use the controls to attack and dodge-roll the attacks from your opponent.
You can also gather materials in different ways within My Time At Portia. You can go into the ‘Abandoned Ruined’, and dig for minerals, ore, and artifacts. As well as chop trees for wood, string, and similar materials. You can fish, and also fight animals around the town borders to receive loot and other materials.
Rating & Reason
My Time At Portia receives a rating of 7/10, as it truly is an amazing game. However, there are absolutely some downfalls. The extremely long loading screens seem to be not optimized at all in the Switch port. With a loading screen lasting a maximum of 2-4 minutes, some people would simply not pick up the game due to this.
Although some may not mind, the game is a bit too easy in some aspects. Such as the combat feature. All the player would need to do to defeat an enemy is rapidly press the attack button, perform the odd dodge-roll, and you’re in the clear.
Some players have encountered game-breaking and crashing bugs which occur and force the player to replay their entire day, since the game saves upon sleeping during the night, and changing to the next day. However, upon writing this review, none of these bugs or crashes had been encountered.
The game falls short of optimization, but this might be due to it truly being a smaller development team. With updates, it is possible the loading screen issue will be fixed, and with more content being implemented each update, My Time At Portia is certainly sure to turn into something much better than it already is, and that’s saying something.