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Game Info:

My Time at Portia
Developed by: Pathea Games
Published by: Team17
Release date: January 15, 2019
Available on: Windows (macOS coming soon)
Genre: Simulation
Number of players: Single-player
ESRB Rating: E 10+ for alcohol references, fantasy violence, mild suggestive themes
Price: $29.99
(Humble Store Link)

Thank you Team17 for sending us this game to review!

My Time at Portia can be described as the love child between Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Minecraft. The charming music, colorful 3D world, monster-filled caverns, and the ever-familiar circular stamina gauge will welcome action-seeking gamers. Those who like to mine, craft, farm, and interact with villagers will feel right at home in this small town.

My Time at Portia begins with your customized character taking possession of a workshop left behind by their father. Portia is a small village and as you develop your crafting skills, you’ll aid in the town’s growth too. This game is very open-ended with many story-progressing quests that have no expiration date. You’re free to farm, mine, date, and craft to your heart’s content. Money can be earned by selling items you harvest or create, but your biggest source of income will be from completing commissions from the town or the people within. Every commission you finish on time boosts your reputation with the town and with the person who gave you the job.

Most of the commissions have expiry dates and you’ll have to pay attention to those if you want to keep your workshop in good standing. At the end of every month/season, the top three workshops are given nice prizes in recognition for their services. The number one builder is a bit of a jerk and knocking his business down to second place is both challenging and rewarding. Having a premier workshop unlocks one of the ninety-one Steam achievements available.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Fun gameplay with many open-ended as well as timed quests to complete
Weak Points: Many broken quests; slowdowns and crashes; only partially voice acted
Moral Warnings: Drinking and gambling; fantasy violence; ghosts; same sex relationships are possible; religion is shown in a negative light

The days go by pretty quickly as every second is equivalent to a minute in Portia time. If you’re not in bed by 3:00 AM, the game will put you there forcibly. That’s another possible Steam achievement. The businesses and town hall have hours of operation that you’ll need to pay attention to. It helps to arrive at the town hall first thing in the morning if you want to get first dibs at the available commissions.

Each townsperson has their own personality and daily schedule that they follow. Some of the characters are more likable than others and each has their own backstory that you can learn about if you spend time with them. To increase favor with someone you can talk to them; challenge them to rock, paper, scissors; spar; or give them a gift. When it comes to gift-giving, each person has their own preferences on what they like to receive and avoid getting. As relationships develop, side missions/stories become available.

Any townsperson who is not married is eligible for dating regardless of their gender. The fact that every single villager is bisexual is my biggest moral complaint in this otherwise family friendly game. There are other moral issues worth mentioning like gambling and some drinking references. The village has a day for remembering deceased loved ones and decorates the town with ghosts. As you mine, you’ll uncover data discs and artifacts from the previous civilization. You can take these data discs to the research center to unlock new equipment or give them to the nature-worshiping church who abhors technology. While the planters and trees from the church are helpful, you’re at a technological disadvantage if you side with them. There are Steam achievements for giving one hundred discs to either group or both of them!

My Time at Portia
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 80%
Gameplay - 18/20
Graphics - 8/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 78%
Violence - 8/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 6/10
Occult/Supernatural - 7/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 8/10

Like many games, My Time at Portia started in Early Access and in my opinion, it left a bit too soon. In my sixty hours of playing this game, I have encountered several slowdowns, a crashes to desktop, and many broken quests. Thankfully, many of the bugs are addressed in a roundabout fashion. For example, on dates you can go to specific areas to trigger an activity. If you decide to go out to dinner, the option to eat together often does not appear as it does for other events, but after a short while, your date will ask if you want to sit down and order. Relationships are pretty tame and you can cuddle/hug, kiss, and receive shoulder rubs/massages from your partner. The massages restore a small amount of stamina, and all of the options add relationship points. Having or adopting children is possible no matter which gender you decide to marry. Same-sex couples can adopt a child from the church.

A couple of my outings with my boyfriend/spouse were botched due to quest bugs. For example, when I first started dating the civil service corps captain, Arlo, he wanted me to meet him by a desert for a gorgeous view. I accepted his invitation and off he went! I don’t know how he arrived at the location, but I could not meet him there since I was not far enough along in the game’s story to have built a bridge there yet! Since the mission had an expiration date, I had to reload my save and decline the offer so I would not lose relationship points for standing him up. Saving is only done when you go to bed for the night so I did lose a significant amount of progress. Eventually that mission opportunity disappeared as our relationship progressed so I’m not sure what I missed there. On another date suggestion of his, we were to climb up by the church and take photographs. The only downside is that I had not obtained or learned how to make a camera yet. That mission failed but I was already married to him at this time and I don’t think our relationship suffered much as a result.

Since its release there have been many bug fixes and even some setbacks. Hopefully the developers continue to listen to the community and further polish this game. As fun as this game is, I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it due to the same-sex and stability issues. I doubt they’ll be removing the political correctness, but I do hope that Pathea continues fixing the many bugs that were not squashed in Early Access.

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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