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If you’re one who has a keen interest in simulators, then you certainly will like “life simulators”. Life simulators are like living another life inside the game. You manage stuff, complete objectives, go to work, go on dates, and everything else you shirk away as ‘responsibility’ in the real world. But then again, some of the simulators have features which are really good – so good that you forget about your life in the real world. That’s exactly the sort of attachment you need to make life worth living.

If you’re into “life simulators”, there are quite some choices, like Stardew Valley, Yonder : The Cloud Catcher Chronicles, My Time At Portia, and others I might not have heard about. My Time in Portia’s system of simulating the life of a builder in a post-apocalyptic world is a pretty good reminder of how good games can be with the realism. When you’re playing, you’re gathering resources, stashing them for making stuff, upgrading your existing stuff, earning some cash, going mining, going hunting, and of course, the unbearable wait for some of your more advanced stuff to finish crafting.

So the grind to the top takes time. A lot of it. Just like real life.

My Time in Portia makes you focus on being the best builder, and in order to do that, you must carry out commissions for people living in Portia. That’s where the crafting system plays a pivotal role. Not because you can craft the stuff you’ve taken a commission for, but because you need to wait for the stuff to finish crafting. And that takes a LOT of time, no jokes. You bore yourself with gathering, doing the odd jobs for villagers to get their favor.

But then again, without any crafting, you wouldn’t even get to be the best builder in Portia. Your furnaces, cutters and skivers furiously running day and night to get your materials done. You feel angry because the counter still shows “6 hours”. But then again, you laugh inside, because you know that you would be able to submit the stuff and complete the commission the next day.

That’s what a player feels about the crafting system. A love-hate relationship.

You instantly feel attached to your machines. So attached, that you use them in order to craft the gear needed to get its next advanced edition (ehh… capitalism? This is a post-apocalyptic world,but apparently the policies of the Old World live on), so that you can make stuff faster, and then continue doing the same till you grind out enough money to unlock everything. And that’s faster said than done. There will be a lot of quests to distract you on the way, making you forget to collect the finished goods of your machines. (And apparently, every hour a machine stays idle is an hour wasted). Crafting not for the sake of crafting, rather crafting for doing more crafting – that accurately describes the grind in My Time At Portia.

The rat race for a better life still exists after an apocalypse. The world is indeed doomed.

The grind for goods made, for better machines, a better home,a larger plot, as well as moving up to the top of the list of Builders is going to be a long one. And it has a lot of building, a lot of delivering, a lot of talking to people, and of course, a lot of crafting.

I don’t know about the make of the machines being used after the apocalypse, but they are an interesting part of the game that slowly becomes an addiction over time. Especially when you think about how much more gold you need to earn to upgrade your house for being an eligible bachelor, or how much progress is left in forging the carbon steel bars at work, or in school too. (Seriously though, don’t do this, or I’m going to get into trouble for glorifying gaming addiction).

The best part is, you can just gather stuff, talk with people, and forget about getting to the top. But in case you have to join the rat race, get into your worktables with your hammers and blueprints and start putting together the random gift for the special someone,err…., for completing commissions and winning over the good people of Portia.

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