My Time At Portia Makes Post-Apocalyptic Living Absolutely Adorable

This may be one of the cutest games ever made.
This may be one of the cutest games ever made. Team17

Few farm-life sims can accurately capture the magic and wonder that comes with starting anew in a strange land with nothing but the clothes on your back. Harvest Moon and Stardew Valley seem to have mastered this plotline, but newcomer My Time At Portia takes the premise and goes in a satisfying direction. The combination sim/role-playing game just made it to Steam Early Access. With an eventual Nintendo Switch release, Portia is poised to make an enormous splash. If you love exploring new lands, harvesting, farming, crafting, interacting with lots of new NPCs, and adorable creatures, you need to download My Time At Portia right now.

The colorful and ridiculously pleasant title from Pathea Games tasks you with a visit to your father's old workshop (Pa, as you'll call him) and building it back up to its former glory. Of course, that's not all you have to do. There's an entire town to spend time in as you befriend the townsfolk, mine for materials to craft new items for yourself and for your home, go fishing, brawl with others, and even (eventually) fall in love. You can choose from a male or female character, customize him or her to your liking, and get started with relatively little fuss. That’s just how I like to jump into these kinds of games, after all.

The premise is simple. Imagine if Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Rune Factory, and Minecraft were to join into one larger game that, currently, has "up to 25 hours of content with more to come," according to the developers. There's a hefty amount of stuff to do, as I very quickly found out during my first sojourn into the game. Perhaps one of the most interesting tidbits I extrapolated from my first few chats with the bright and zany characters in-game was the fact that Portia is smack dab in the middle of a post-apocalyptic setting. There are few humans left, and those who still remain have begun new lives in Portia. There's a lot you can discern simply from talking to the friendly folks around you, which are one of my favorite parts of the game as I just got started.

Hanging out with the critters.
Hanging out with the critters. Pathea Games

The villagers each have their own bits of unique voiceover and dialogue to share their personalities so you feel as though you're truly getting to know them. I appreciated this, especially the various options for interactions you can choose from. You can give them gifts, spar with them, and more, all of which can culminate in important relationships. The same goes for most of the critters in-game, like chubby cows, fluffy pink cats, and other random animals that look otherworldly, but insanely cute. Even the alarm clock that appears when you're sleeping to pass time until the next day is cute. There's so much cute in this game, especially for a post-apocalyptic setting, that I can't take it. And I love it.

But there's more than just chatting with villagers and petting animals, obviously. You'll need to gather materials to build things. A lot of things. You'll chop down trees, bust through rock in the mines, pick herbs, and do your fair share of gardening, all in a bid to make your life in Portia a better one—or to build things for your fellow townsfolk. While you'll spend much of your time checking out the verdant greenery, there are also deserts, swamplands, and even dungeons to uncover as you make your way through the game.

I’ve still got ways to go through My Time At Portia , but I can’t wait to see where the game takes me from here. It’s interesting to see how this genre has evolved with all the different, varied facets introduced over the years since I played my very first Harvest Moon game on Game Boy Color. For the first time in a while, I wonder what the townspeople are doing when I’m not playing this game. I’m interested in seeing what new animals and critters I can explore. And I really would love to know more about the world before Portia came to be how it is today.

If you're interested in playing, you can check out My Time At Portia via Steam now, or wait for the Nintendo Switch release, which will no doubt be ridiculously popular. It's out later this year, though there's no concrete release date for it yet.

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