PC; Pathea Games/Team 17
The daily routines of this beautifully designed crafting game are meditative, but the storyline can be laboured
As in Stardew Valley or Harvest Moon, in My Time at Portia you arrive fresh-faced in a new town, set to take over the dilapidated business a relative has left to you. In this alternate life you’re a workshop owner, crafting items for the locals, taking on building projects for the town, gathering materials, dating the local population and, yes, engaging in some light farming – because it just wouldn’t be a bucolic fantasy without some crops and cutesy cows.
Portia is a beautiful world of exquisite colours and bold brush strokes. Your workshop sits in front of meadows filled with frolicking multicoloured llamas, as wheat sways in fields and the locals wander the gorgeously designed streets of the town. But Portia’s sweet idyll is tempered by the realisation that it’s actually postapocalyptic: towering above are the decaying metal ruins of high-rise buildings. Exploring ruins of the old world uncovers relics and data disks that can either be given to the Church of Light, which believes that anything from the old world should be destroyed, or the Research Centre, which uses them to come up with new blueprints for you to build. This schism in the town is interesting, but after 20 hours of play, not much has been done with it; while the art is brimming with character, the writing doesn’t quite match up.