Farming and fantasy are a popular mix these days, with thousands having scrambled to back the Re: Legend Kickstarter only two months ago.
My Time at Portia may not look look different from other rural, slice of life RPGs, but after playing its demo, its safe to say the vibrant village is hiding more depth than meets the eye.
The first unique focus is your character’s profession. Instead of an urbanite-turned-rancher, you play a character who’s inherited their father’s workshop.
Your duty is to fulfill commissions by crafting new resources, tools and structures for the villagers. While farming will remain part of the mix, indie dev Pathia Games says caring for crops will be more hands-off.
Fair enough. What inventor worth their salt couldn’t come up with a self-watering sprinkler system?
The second intriguing feature is Portia‘s world. When most people think of post-apocalyptic settings, they imagine dark, grungy environments filled with violent raiders.
Titles like Castle in the Sky, Future Boy Conan and Horizon: Zero Dawn all show a contrasting vision of the world where nature has gently reclaimed the landscape after humanity faltered.
My Time at Portia was inspired by this concept and features an appealing frontier town where villagers are just as likely to excavate ancient technology as tend a garden. Even so, the ideological differences between science and religion are alive and well.
A group called the Church of Light opposes the research center’s casual use of artifacts, and your actions may be a deciding factor in which group gains sway.
When you visit the mines you use a scanner to mark artifacts, then ax through the fully-destructible environment to claim them. These areas are free of enemies, but Pathea says separate dungeons will include combat to challenge players between excursions.
You can interact with almost everything in the world—trees, stones, herbs plucked to make medicine, enemies slain for parts. The crafting process is intuitive and allows you to reference your father’s guidebook to make complicated pieces like furnaces and vehicles.
In town, I found the number of NPCs wandering around impressive. The characters’ designs were all memorable, with a wide scope of races and personalities. While I couldn’t enter all the buildings, the demo (about 8 hours of gameplay) hinted at much to come.
All unattached NPCs are romanceable, which includes a whopping 15 male and 10 female characters. The devs have confirmed same sex marriages. Talk about having options! You’ll be able to take your paramours out on dates at different locations, and even hire people to help you around home.
I should add that you can spar with nearly every NPC, with the winner taking home gold. What are a few punches between friends, right?
My Time at Portia may be built around a winning formula, but it’s clear Pathea wants to improve on existing systems. Between the mix of extensive minigames and a Rune Factory-esque story, many players should find themselves coming back for more.
My Time at Portia is funding on Kickstarter and will open beta to backers a week after the campaign’s completion. Early access arrives in January 2018, and the games’ full release will be in August 2018.
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