My Time at Sandrock from Pathea and Focus Entertainment is a cozy game in which you’ll be hired as a builder in the remote town of Sandrock. Check out our My Time at Sandrock review!
After accepting a job offer to become Sandrock’s newest Builder, you’ll arrive in the wild and rugged city-state, where it’s up to you and your trusty tools to restore the community to its former glory. Gather resources to build machines, befriend locals, and defend Sandrock from monsters — all while saving the town from economic ruin!
My Time at Sandrock is a sequel to My Time At Portia, which we reviewed back in 2019. This time around, things have changed quite a lot, and we are now 300 years into a post-apocalyptic world! Remains of the previous world still exist, but technology must be rebuilt, and you’re here to help!
Along with being a machine builder, your role in Sandrock will also require you to assist the residents with some queries they will present in the form of quests. Resolving their issues will increase your value as a builder in the eyes of the city’s residents and will also help you get closer to some of them. You can give gifts to the other residents, and as the game progresses and you show interest in them, you’ll even get to date a few of them!
As you begin your quest to become Sandrock’s #1 builder, you’ll be in the bottoms, searching the land for scraps from a previous civilization that can then be turned into usable materials. Your inventory will fill quickly with raw items, and you’ll realize that inventory management is something you’ll need to get really good at due to the (very) limited space in your backpack as you try to keep everything that you find because you know you’ll need it eventually. You’ll be able to build a box on your workshop in which you can drop items from your inventory, but that will not help your excursions as you’ll always need to deal with keeping helpful items vs. leaving them on the ground until you craft yourself a bigger backpack later in the game.
With that being said, your first order of business will be to build a recycler, a simple machine that refines raw materials into a resource that can be used for building. You could, for example, refine scrap wood into usable wood or scrap ore into real ore. You get the idea. Refined wood and ore can then be used to build better machines, then used to build even better machines, climbing the technological tree up to modern machinery, one step at a time.
I liked how building machines was decided upon by My Time At Sandrock developers. Once you have selected a new machine to make, its blueprint is saved for quick reference and can be accessed directly by pressing the R2 button. Your workbench is accessible and easy to use, and assembling new items (or simple machines) is as easy as selecting the materials and pressing the X button to build the desired amount of an item. You can then use the machines you already created to build new types of machines, and each one of them will take some time to achieve its purpose – in real-time, using the in-game timer. And yes, going to sleep for the night is a great way to make time pass. Each of the machines will have its technicalities, but all of them are easy to use.
You’ll be busy when playing My Time At Sandrock as there’s a full quest system for all the requests given by the city’s residents. You’ll be introduced early to the Commerce Guild, and your customers will often ask for objects or structures that will help you in building your own various machines. Once accepted, you have a few in-game days to complete the quest, which might not seem like much, but if you plan accordingly, you’ll be able to have an easier time completing quests.
On the presentation side, I was initially disappointed by the PlayStation 5 rendering of this game. The opening cut-scene was of relatively low quality, and the game didn’t initially achieve 30 frames per second at its default settings. Oddly enough, you can select between Performance or Quality, and when selecting Quality, it felt like I had a better framerate and a better visual quality on the PlayStation 5. This is probably due to a bug, and it’s something that the team at Pathea Games is currently working on alongside other bugs for a new patch.
The game has a cartoony look similar to My Time at Portia, and regardless of the performance/quality setting, there’s a lot of pop-in when you’re running through locations. This also felt odd, considering how other games manage to have a near-photo-realistic rendering with almost no loading. A minor issue I noticed when playing is that the game timer doesn’t support the PlayStation 5 Sleep Mode feature, which means that if you start to play, go to sleep, and check your game the next day, all the time the console was in Sleep Mode will have been added to your total. Again, this is something that is being worked on by the developer in a patch.
As for the trophies, you’re looking at a full list containing 30 trophies as well as a Platinum trophy. There are 14 Bronze trophies, 11 Silver trophies, and 5 Gold trophies for you to work on. A few trophies are tied to your workshop, so you’ll have to upgrade it and then eventually become #1 in the Sandrock community. A few others will be unlocked as you get closer to the town’s residents and build long-lasting relationships. Another trophy will pop for getting 10,000 Gols, and there’s one for considerably upgrading your backpack so that it has 50 available slots. Oh, and there’s a rare trophy to obtain for finding a diamond!
If you’re looking for a long-lasting experience with a lot of items to collect, machines to build, and make new friends, My Time At Sandrock is an easy one to recommend. I liked climbing the technological tree and helping the residents with their different requests. If you can overlook a few technical issues like pop-in and unstable framerate, then you’re in for a fun time with this one. My Time at Sandrock is out today on PlayStation 5 with a $39.99 price tag. There’s also a DLC pack for the Builders Beach and Ball Clothing Pack with a $2.99 price.
This My Time at Sandrock review is based on a PlayStation copy provided by Focus Entertainment.