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My Time at Sandrock Review

My Time at Sandrock Review

My Time at Sandrock is “a wholesome sandbox RPG” developed and published by Pathea Games. The second entry in the My Time series, this time it’ll be more like a Western-style with horses, bandits, and saloons. I’ve played My Time At Portia on my Nintendo Switch and enjoyed it, so let’s see how big this town is.

The town of Sandrock is a nice yet struggling town set in the middle of the desert, and it could get worse with the local Builder retiring. However, you just moved into town with a fresh Builder's Certificate, so it's your job to not only make a living and create bonds to last a lifetime but to restore the town back to its former glory and then some. 

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This town is big enough for the both of us, my friend.

Let’s talk about the graphics first, and wow! It’s a serious improvement from My Time At Portia. The characters are cartoony and full of life; you can go pretty wild with character customisation, and the world is great, with its wide open spaces and nice-looking interiors. Now, I did have to play on lowered settings due to my PC specs, but it still looked a lot better than I was expecting. If you have a better PC, it’ll look so much better than how I’m describing it right now.

Now, onto your budding life in Sandrock. As a Builder, your main tasks will be to build things either to progress through the main quest or for commissions and side quests from the townsfolk. Now, crafting the required object is fairly easy (although, a lot of machines need time to complete those tasks), it’s the resources needed that are the problem. Because you're in a desert, common resources such as wood and water are very hard to come by at the start, and the few trees that are within walking distance of the town are protected and cannot be chopped down without incurring a severe penalty both financially and socially. And god forbid you take a dip in the town's clean water supply as you need water to help power your machines. You’ll need to become self-sufficient soon or you’ll be wasting time and money on the resources you’ll need to progress through the game. I do recommend upgrading your workshop sooner rather than later so that you have more space and room to plant trees. Still, it’s really fun to assemble items and gives you plenty to do when you’re just starting out and at the endgame.

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Welcome to Sandrock. Don't cut down the trees.

But you aren’t going to enjoy life just by working. Eventually, you’re gonna have to interact with the townspeople. There’s a good variety you can meet, from another Builder who also came into town recently to a wannabe hero. You can chat with them to build up your rapport, give gifts, brawl, go on dates, and play card games with them. If you do it enough, you might be able to marry them if they’re a willing bachelor/bachelorette and with 30 characters (21 of which are romanceable), you’ll be spoiled for choice. I think I actually liked the characters from Sandrock more than I did in Portia. They seemed more personable and more fun to interact with than in the previous game, with better characters that are interesting to learn about and hang out with. It may be down to personal preference, but that’s my take on it.

Onto exploring the world above and below. The overworld is pretty big, but you are restricted to the town and the surrounding area for a good while, I feel. There’s still a lot of stuff you can do while you slowly improve your machines and relationships, but I wanted to take a horse and do some exploring myself sooner rather than later. However, after doing your first important job, you can go underground and do some spelunking in the ruins of an abandoned mall. It’s pretty fun mining, with plenty of resources and neat items to discover, and the jetpack used in there to ensure you don’t get into a really bad situation is great.

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Meet the people of Sandrock.

You’ll also need to defend yourself on occasion, either from wild animals or bandits. That’s why there are a variety of weapons available for you to use: from a sword and shield to an assault rifle, you will need them to fight against your enemies. Combat feels pretty good, all things considered, especially the gunplay. It feels weird using an AK-47-like gun to mow down bandit lizards, but I’m not gonna complain. While the mechanics aren't much deeper than dodge and attack/shoot, and the lock-on camera can get a little too close when against a wall, it works well, and I found fighting to be very engaging when the time comes. And hey, if you need practice, there are plenty of townsfolk who are ready and willing to fight if you want.

Oh, I forgot to mention, doing these things mentioned before all contribute to a skill tree to make your time in Sandrock much more enjoyable. There are some really good skills that can change how you play, such as being able to stay up until 3AM and still get the Well-Rested bonus, but a lot of them are just increased chances and additional effects when performing certain actions. This is all fine, and it made me think about what skills I should get when I level up that part of my character. I also found the pace of getting skill points really good. You aren’t getting them every day, but you gain them frequently enough that it doesn’t feel like a chore to get them. Just going about daily life is enough to earn them naturally, which is great.

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Builder, socialite, farmer, monster hunter.

Now, I do have some issues. A couple of times, my controls would stop working on the main menu, forcing a complete restart, and I found the constant load screens pretty annoying. Now, as I mentioned before, my PC isn’t the greatest, and the game did notice it and recommended shutting down some programs so the load times would be better, but I’m afraid that versions such as the Nintendo Switch will aggravate people more than it should. Still, once it was warmed up, the load times were pretty quick most of the time. As for my issues with gameplay, wow, you can clog up your inventory really fast. Getting more storage space became so important pretty quickly, although the streamlined inventory management made things so much easier. I also found the audio mixing to be rather iffy. Like, some characters sound fine, while others sound like they're going through a tunnel while recording their lines over the phone. Other than that, those were my main issues. Any glitches I ran into were already being addressed for the full release, so I don’t feel the need to mention them.

My Time at Sandrock is a phenomenal game for those who love both the peaceful life of building and farming,and the excitement of getting in a good fight and hunting. I haven’t even mentioned stuff like mini-games, house customisation, or the dungeons. They're all fun. If you loved My Time At Portia, you’ll definitely love this game. I cannot recommend coming to Sandrock enough.

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I think I'm gonna like it here.

My Time at Sandrock is available on PC via Steam and the Epic Games Store, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch.

9.50/10 9½

My Time at Sandrock (Reviewed on Windows)

Excellent. Look out for this one.

My Time at Sandrock is everything I wanted from a sequel to My Time At Portia. The time you spend in this game is well worth it, so don’t sleep on this gem.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Dylan Pamintuan

Dylan Pamintuan

Staff Writer

An Australian-born guy whose trying to show everyone why games are awesome.

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