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My Time at Sandrock is a building game similar to Stardew Valley and a sequel to the critically acclaimed My Time at Portia. Pathea Games is back to give players a whole new My Time experience.  Instead of the lush green plains and windswept beaches of Portia, we’re instead in the rugged desert where green is rare, and water even more so.

The Gameplay

Diving right into the Sandfish and Tomatoes of the game is the gameplay. Right off the bat, it was immediately obvious that Pathea Games took notes after the release of My Time at Portia. A lot of quality of life improvements have been made. Sprinting no longer consumes stamina which makes traveling much faster. Items no longer have to be on the player’s hotbar to be used in crafting. A mechanic new to Sandrock would be the controlling of water. Water is used to keep machinery from overheating and ceasing production. Being in a desert, water is not a readily available resource. The Church controls the water tower in town and will sell some if need be. However, there are perks the player can unlock that make the process of collecting some themselves easier.

The dungeon diving is also a part of the game that has gotten some improvement. In Portia, there are either mining caves or classic dungeons. While Sandrock follows this same scheme, more quality of life features have been put in place to make the experience less of a necessary grind and more of an enjoyable experience. In Sandrock, a timed dungeon rewards the player with better loot at the end based upon their speed.

The Audio

The audio in My Time at Sandrock is on par with Portia. Both games offer different soundtracks with each in-game season. In addition to that, there is also a track that plays depending on what time of day it is. Overall, Claude Ruelle, who is the composer for both games has been consistent with their ability to make the music immersive and enjoyable. A small complaint is that since there was no voice acting in the build provided, subtitles were the main way to communicate. Some messages were not properly translated and remained in Chinese. A small thing to point out that I’m sure will be addressed.

The Visuals

My Time at Sandrock is a beautiful game. Portia took the approach of looking cartoonish which adds to the feel of that game. This time around it is clear that the developers wanted to take a different approach. Sandrock is less cartoonish and more a very good-looking animated game. Following developer notes and messages online it’s evident that this is a big focus for the team, and it certainly shows. Something to point out in the version of the game provided, there is a large rock that is missing it’s texture that’s supposed to be holding up a large ship. The giant pink formation was very much immersion-breaking. A very small error that is an easy fix, but it was something I ran into.

I Spent Some Time in Sandrock

The Multiplayer

While the Multiplayer is not included in the version of the game provided, it has been stated that the Multiplayer will be a large part of the game. Players will experience a whole different version of the game that takes place years before the events of the Singleplayer. From the information that has been provided, it looks to be very interesting and something that will definitely add long-term playability for friends. This lack of multiplayer does not influence this preview in any way.

The Story

My Time at Sandrock takes place roughly at the same time as the events in My Time at Portia. The player, alongside Mi-an, are to replace Mason as Sandrock’s builder(s). The town is in a rough spot as many external factors threaten their way of life. The sands consume more and more greenery each year. A gang of Geckos has plans of world domination. And Logan, a former inhabitant of Sandrock, and his gang continue to assault the town. That is all we know as the complete story was not available in the build of the game provided. Of course there are other things going on besides the big picture plot points. Each character either has or will have a story of their own that will unfold as the player becomes better friends.

My Thoughts

Overall, this was an incredible game. Besides the messages not being translated and the rock having no texture, this was a very polished experience. I encountered an issue that requiring a quick restart but overall, this is a very solid game. So many quality of life features have been implemented into Sandrock and it proves how much Pathea Games cares about the player’s experience. For those curious, I was able to “beat” this current build on the 28th day of Autumn, Year 1. I am very excited to see the progress of My Time at Sandrock and can’t recommend the game more to fans of this kind of experience. For any of the Developers who happen to ever find this article: 你做得很好

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