My Time at Portia PC preview: A relaxing game that will keep you hooked

In the modern gaming scene, explosive action is something many titles share. This is only natural, of course — who doesn't love to participate in epic battles or tense combat? Despite this, it can also be nice for games to change pace and offer a more laid back experience.

This is the market in which the "life simulator" type of role-playing game thrives. Trading in the assault rifles for activities like farming, socializing, and crafting, these games cater to a crowd that simply wants to escape the real world for a few hours and chill out without having to worry much about skill or strategy.

Pathea Games' new game, My Time at Portia, is a brand new life simulator game that follows the above formula perfectly. It does it so well, in fact, that you just might get addicted to the game before you know what happened to the time.

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My Time at Portia takes place in a coastal town called Portia. You are a Builder, a person who creates things for a living. After your father began travelling the world, he left you with his workshop, and now you are to take over his position in the town as a Builder and integrate yourself into the society there.

As your title suggests, filling build orders from the various people in Portia is usually your main objective. Whether its a bridge, a furnace, or anything between, you have the ability to make it in your workshop. However, you'll need materials. Stone, wood, and metal are all vital to your success, so mining and gathering naturally is an important aspect of the game.

The mining can get grindy at times, and as the game develops, I would like to see material costs for things reduced. However, it's never too bad, and the rewards for completing your commissions are worth the effort. Not only will you make money (which allows you to purchase things that will improve quality of life for both you and the town) you will make customers happy. This opens the door for potential social interactions with them in the future.

Socializing with the townsfolk is what you'll be doing the majority of the time you're not working. Each person in Portia has a distinct personality and their own set of quirks, and figuring them out as you build relationships is a treat. Some of them are painfully cliche, though.

The interactions with the NPCs are made significantly more enjoyable with the great voice acting they have, and for this reason alone it's worth talking to everyone you see. They all have a story to tell, and many of them hint at things such as secrets about the town that you can't learn anywhere else.

Don't fret if the cycle of building and socializing sounds like it will get boring fast. While creating items for others is your main source of income, there's a ton of other activities to do as well. Once you have the money and skills to do so, farming is also possible. If that's not your style, there's a myriad of side quests available to you. Additionally, you can customize your home and even certain areas of Portia.

Lastly, you can explore caves in order to try and find rare materials that will allow you to make high quality products. There are often monsters that you have to fight, but the combat system is simple and easy to learn, which fits perfectly with this type of game.

All of this content is topped off nicely by the pleasant art style and charming, calm music. All in all, My Time at Portia is a game filled with things to do and reasons to do them, and for people looking for a high-quality simulation RPG, it doesn't get much better then this. Things can only go up from here, and once the technical glitches that come with Early Access are ironed out in the future, My Time at Portia will soar.

My Time at Portia is available now on Steam Early Access for $19.99.

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Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.