June 18, 2018

E3 2018: Hands On with My Time at Portia

There has always been something about a sim game that grabs my interest, keeping the interest however is not always as simple, but My Time at Portia had my attention, only time constraints kept me from it.

The game can best be described as a mix of Harvest Moon and Minecraft, taking the best gameplay elements from each of those series, but then layering on a story that keeps you playing. You play as you, a character that you create and you have been summoned home, to Portia, where your Pa’s workshop lies abandoned after he took off to parts unknown. When you arrive, you are given the rundown on how the town of Portia works, namely regarding the construction of things, given that you are taking over the workshop and in order to be allowed to build anything for other people you first need to prove yourself.

After getting a simple task of building some tools, you can head out almost anywhere to find the materials, some can be found just lying about, but others require you to dig or cut down trees to acquire. The games mechanics for collecting and building is actually a little different, for collecting materials, you just need to keep pressing the button to chop, dig or what have you, but in order to build, you need the material in your active inventory, but rather than just snapping together an item from a menu, you need to place the pieces down on a building pad and once built, you have to pick it up, to mark it as complete.

Once you have built the two tools, you are given a final and more complex task, which does need a lot materials, but completing that will then given you a certificate, meaning you are right to proceed to building anything. These tasks are easy, yes, but they also help lay the groundwork for the common activities the game presents, but the most intriguing part is that as you progress into the game, you will interact with more people and depending on your interactions with them, they will either like you, or they won’t.

Because of the relationships you can form, each play through will be different from the last and with each person you meet, having their own story to tell, discovering everything will be a challenge. What struck me the most, was the visuals, the game clearly has an anime influence and while the characters themselves are more western than eastern in their appearance, there is no denying the obvious Ghibli nods that shine out.

While I wish I had more time with My Time at Portia, what I did play has only ignited a desire to play more of it and with the release happening later this year for PC, Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, there is not too long left to wait.

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