My Time At Portia

Released: 23 Jan 2018
Reviewed: 7 Dec 2019
Platform: PC

The easiest way to describe Portia is "Chinese knock-off Stardew in 3D". There are plenty of differences, but it's basically a rip-off. The graphics can be quite pretty (apart from the people, who I think are all horrifically ugly). Interactions like combat and mining are clunky but functional. I eventually got suckered in and ended up playing it for a long time. It's good, but it has plenty of balance, QA and mechanical issues. Portia is more focused on building stuff for residents in your workshop than farming, although farming and animal rearing is in the game. It also has yearly festivals, a set of main missions, befriending people with gifts and renovating the town.

- Cannot get over how awful the faces are
- Character movement is unrefined
- They'd have been better off not moving lips at all during speech. As it is, NPCs look like creepy ventriloquist dolls when they talk to you
- In 2D, it's less weird to see NPCs all sitting at a table not really moving. Registering my workshop for the first time (It was meant to be in the mayor's office, but apparently during his dinner with the family is fine too ), the mayor's family sitting at the dinner table with no food in front of them staring blankly at each other was really weird
- The music is nice; it's much like The Sims. It gets repetitive though; each month is 28 days long. Each day is roughly half an hour long (a little less, including things like conversations, interface menus and being inside. There's one 30 second music track for each season. After 14 hours of each season, the music was driving me plying mental.
- There's no penalty for passing out at 3am. Not even a cut-scene or letter, you just wake up in your house the next morning
- Options for money making open up a lot over time. You start with just the workshop, but there's also fishing, commissions, ruin diving, farming and animals. Making bus stops and street lights for the town was fun.
- At the weekend, there are no commissions and you can judge other objects. It's basically 3D spot the difference but I really liked it
- Lots of the game isn't explained. Thankfully there's a detailed wiki
- Lists of things like items cannot be sorted, and are not in alphabetically order
- When mining or on combat, the game freezes for a about 200ms every time you either mine or hit an enemy, making both fairly clunky. This mechanic meant that when the sewer boss fight started, I got immediately attacked by his minions and it was a full 15 seconds before I could do anything. Luckily managed to spam some health food but the combat and mining are really cheap
- There are too many people in the town, and gaining reputation with each one is like a Korean MMO grind. Each person's reputation meter is out of 1000, and most presents give between 6 and 15 rep. After 20 hours of just handing out presents every day and only being at 4/10 hearts, I gave up entirely.
- There are spelling mistakes all over the place. Almost every loading screen tip has spelling mistakes in it, and lots of the dialogue is badly translated
- There's a bear in a dressing gown wandering around. He doesn't make a noise like a bear, he makes a noise like a human doing a bad impression of a bear. Another creepy things about the game.

I've played for 80 hours and I'm ready for it to be over, but I'm only 2/3 of the way through the main missions, so it's probably going on the shelf. I did enjoy the time I spent with it though.

Back to all games