A Slower Drip: My Time at Portia

My typical gaming M.O. is to choose a different genre of game after focusing on one in particular. So after Forager, I should have picked something that was not another crafting/farming/grinding game. Following that ancient edict just left me with not wanting to play anything at all though. So, realizing that I am an Adult© with the means and opportunity to do Whatever the Hell I Want™ I decided to head right into My Time at Portia.

It’s good to be back.

My Time at Portia is a Harvest Moon/Stardew Valley game set in a bizarrely upbeat post-post-apocalypse future. There are ruins and collapsed buildings in the skybox, there are tales of the Age of Corruption, and even a period of darkness in which the skies were blackened for over 300 years. And yet the hero who cleared the skies is a man named Peach, the monsters you fight are things like Panbats (bats with panda faces) and sea urchins that float around with the help of balloons, and similar nonsense. It is all very cartoony and whimsical and doesn’t take itself especially seriously.

One element I do like that shakes the formula up a bit is how your character is a Builder and not a farmer. You can have farm plots and a stable and grow things if you want, but the primary mechanism of advancement is, well, building things. You can take one Commission a day from a posting board (“I need 3 Rubber Belts”), townspeople will occasionally ask you to build an irrigation system for them, some elevator needs repaired so investigations into water supply issues can be resolved, and so on. A lot more crafting than farming, in other words. This solves the sometimes awkward problem of having unlockable crafting tiers of items that you only ever make one of and never use the crafting table again.

While it has been an enjoyable game thus far, I do think I am over-optimizing the game a tiny bit. I am not even past the second season yet and have already unlocked and am using the highest-tier tools and Workbench. There are still longer-term items to purchase (expanded housing plot, etc) and upgrade, but I am primarily “done” in terms of exciting progression, e.g. needing a specific tool to gather a particular resource. We’ll see how the rest of the game pans out.

Having said all that, I am certainly doing what I enjoy. It is not ARK or 7 Days to Die or more freeform crafting-survival, but My Time at Portia scratches similar itches for the time being. It also feels more relaxing than even Stardew Valley, as you can tweak settings like Day Length to give yourself more time to explore/talk to townsfolk. If this is what you’re looking for, well, you found it.

Posted on August 25, 2020, in Impressions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I really must get back to My Time At Portia. I was playing it every day, I got to Spring of the second year, I’d built the big bridge to open up the road to the city… it was all going really well and I was enjoying it a lot… and then I stopped. Not for any reason, I just got distracted by something else, I think.

    It is very relaxing and lovely to look at although it’s possible to get a little too wrapped up in projects and feel some pressure to complete. Still, I wasn’t finished. I must try again.


    • It was actually your series of posts on My Time at Portia that kind of sealed the deal for me starting another crafting/farming game right after I already finished another one. So thanks for that. :)

      I am mildly concerned that I will eventually, suddenly drop MTaP as well. For all that I talk up Stardew Valley as the kind of prototypical game type I enjoy, I abandoned my own playthrough abruptly, even though I was very far in the game. Sometimes it feels like a Civilization match against AI opponents – at a certain point victory is assured, and you are just going through the motions. It was fun all the way up to that point, but do I really need to spend the next 10 game days giving the same gift to the same person to get them to the next level of hearts to marry them? We all know it’s going to happen.


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