Review of My Time at Sandrock – I would love to spend my summer here
The friendly sandbox My Time at Sandrock has finally left early access, and is now available in the release version on PC and current consoles. We did not miss the opportunity to visit the town of Sandrok, and now we are ready to share our impressions of the game in a review.
- Developer: Pathea Games
- Publisher: Pathea Games, Focus Entertainment, PM Studios, Inc., DMM Games
- Platforms: PC, Nintendo Switch , PlayStation 5 , Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One
- Release date: November 2, 2023
A new character arrives in the city of Sandrok, located in the middle of the desert – the main character, whose appearance you can choose before starting the game, using a very detailed editor. The plot of inheriting a close relative’s old farm/workshop is a well-worn trope, but in the context of the life simulator genre , it works perfectly, allowing the protagonist to justify the rise from rags to riches.
In general, here you become the owner of a small workshop located just outside the city. Right at the station the character is met by the girl Mi-an, who is happy to bring him up to date and introduce him to other residents of Sandrok. The hero joins the Trade Guild and begins his new duties – now he must help the townspeople, carry out their orders, and also repel various threats, such as bandits and monsters , and restore the city.
You will have to start small: at the start of the adventure, only basic tools are available to the protagonist, with which you cannot cut down a tree. You need to be patient and get ready to grind resources: at first you cannot avoid routine exploration of garbage heaps and exploring the surrounding area for deposits of something useful. As is usually the case, the most valuable resources and things are in hard-to-reach places, so you will have to go into dungeons , explore the far corners of the map, and sometimes fight for the best loot.
Near the workshop you will place a workbench, a furnace, a resource processor and other machines that will help turn unnecessary trash into components, create tools and weapons. Townspeople will start coming to you – some will just drop in for a visit, some will teach you new skills, and some will give you the task of building something for Sandrok. As a reward, the hero will receive experience, money, improved relationships with characters, increased reputation of the workshop, and even some clothes or other pleasant bonus.
Although there will be few options available to you at the beginning, more will gradually become available. New recipes will allow you to build new machines, craft more advanced tools, and extract more diverse resources. As you complete quests, you will receive a mount, dress up your protagonist, and open new areas on a fairly extensive map. Upgraded “knowledge” increases the efficiency of game systems, from greater water conservation, so important for desert dwellers, to learning new combo attacks.
The title periodically throws up interesting challenges, like mini-games or city events. Sandrok is not a very busy village, but there is something to do here: visit shops , check out festive events, try to develop a relationship with a romantic interest – actively communicate, give gifts , invite you on dates , and so on.
In general, My Time at Sandrock is a very friendly game. It doesn’t force you to rush through the storyline, allowing you to do what you like. If you want, explore the world and get resources, if you want, go to the deepest dungeon, if you want, carry out orders for the townspeople and make items for them. All this happens in an atmosphere of general goodness and positivity, which is generally not bad – sometimes there are not enough simple and cute games like this that allow you to take your mind off the world around you.
But there is no good without a silver lining, and the game has its shortcomings. The modesty of the picture is striking: the title looks like a project for mobile platforms, and not a life simulator for PCs and consoles. Each entrance and exit from a building is accompanied by a loading screen. Many characters are not voiced, and the protagonist moves rather sluggishly. There are bugs in the game, and grinding can be annoying – however, this problem is relevant for all similar simulators.