Having played My Time at Portia, I was curious what this sequel, My Time at Sandrock, would be like. It’s pretty similar if you are familiar with the first release, except you’re in an Oasis desert town.
You arrive in Sandrock, along with your builder rival (of sorts), Mi-an, to become the new builder in town since the old one is retiring. You get a home where you craft and produce materials to progress the story and fulfill commissions. Just be sure not to chop down trees because that’s illegal due to the lack of vegetation in the area. Throughout your time in Sandrock, you will see wanted posters for the mysterious Logan, learn about these lizard people called Geeglers, and maybe find true love.
The gameplay is basically running around collecting materials, fulfilling tasks, and exploring. To get these materials, you can harvest from scrap piles using your pickhammer, hands, and axe, kicking trees, and attacking creatures. There’s hardly any downtime, and you’ll rarely get bored. The game can actually overwhelm you, especially if you’re focusing on the main plot (like I was), and suddenly Commissioner Yan reminds you that no commissions got done and your reputation is low.
I kept to myself mostly and progressed in the story, but as I got to know the townsfolk, I grew fond of Unsuur, Owen, and Fang. Something that is great in this game is that, unlike a series like Harvest Moon, you can romance older adults rather than just young adults, and there are quite a few options. Not all of the characters were interesting, but I liked the touch of voice acting to help breathe life into the characters. The music is also really nice to listen to.
The biggest issue with My Time at Sandrock is the quality. While there is a lot of quantity, and I feel there is a lot of heart put into it, there is a crazy amount of pop-in and bugginess with the graphics. Some of the character models look uncanny or ugly. One character in particular, Matilda, often T-poses as they walk, which is kind of amusing since she’s the minister in town. But I know it’s not on purpose.
Overall, My Time at Sandrock is a decent game that could be great with some further polish. If it gets another patch, $39.99 is a fair price, as there’s lots to explore in this large, addictive game.