PS4 Review: My Time at Portia

More than just Stardew Crossing?

Embark on a new life in the enchanting town of Portia! Restore your Pa’s neglected workshop to its former glory by fulfilling commissions, growing crops, raising animals, and befriending the quirky inhabitants of this charming post-apocalyptic land.

My Time at Portia is a charming game, mixing elements from the likes of life-sims such as Stardew Valley, Animal Crossing and Harvest Moon to name a few. There are numerous tasks to do such as building items for townsfolk, rebuilding bridges to new areas and clearing out ruins to gain the loot inside. There’s also the social aspect in which you become friends with members of the town or even marry them (and divorce them if someone better comes along). It may feel a bit overwhelming at first since you are chucked in at the deep end in a new town, but can it feel like home after a while?

After a while, yes. But it will take some time to get to grips with the way the game works as it has so many elements to it, especially crafting which is perhaps more complex than it needs to be, especially with it’s book of blueprints that show you what you’ll need to make certain items to put towards making another item, the layout is confusing and will take some getting used to. Combat can also be tricky as you can wander into an area with higher level enemies and be forced to flee or replay the entire day up till that point, yup you won’t be “rescued” and wake up in your bed the next day with all past tasks completed, so you need to be very wary pushing on.

The townsfolk of Portia are a memorable bunch and you’ll get to know each one in your own way, either by completing commissions for them or story/side quests. The great thing about Portia is that there will always be something to do, so the lifespan of the game is hard to measure. The trophies are nice and varied, requiring you to play the game in a number of different ways to earn that elusive Platinum.

Visually, My Time at Portia is a mixed bag. It has this cartoon-style look to it and it looks cute as hell, but some areas lack polish. The framerate also suffers from time to time, especially during combat…but it has improved since launch via patches. The sound effects are basic and the townsfolk are all silent, even in cutscenes…not even making sounds like the villagers of Animal Crossing. The music is minimalist too, which is disappointing overall.

The Verdict

My Time at Portia is a brilliant game, but perhaps it tries to hard to be so many different things that it’s hard for any one thing to particularly stand out from the crowd. Having said that, it’s still a highly addictive life-sim that will more than fill the gap till the next Animal Crossing.

Score: 8.0