My Time at Sandrock delights crafting and farming enthusiasts alike — Hands-on Preview

Sandrock is a welcoming stay.

Image via Panthea Games

Crafting and building simulators present a problematic puzzle of learning how to best optimize your time, forcing you to manage it at every turn. My Time at Sandrock, a sequel to My Time at Portia, walks this delicate line with not only crafting but with farming management alongside it, encouraging you to also contend with livestock and crops alongside your many building requests. All the while, you’ll be developing relationships with the citizens of Sandrock to create a home for yourself in the sweeping desert.

Our days spent playing My Time at Sandrock have been an enjoyable experience, and developer Pathea Games let us share a slight hint of what’s waiting for eager fans ahead of the official release.

Learning the Basics

Image via Pathea Games

When you take your first few steps in the town of Sandrock, the many citizens are eager to greet you and address the many problems stacking up within the town. These lead to the tutorials of the basic mechanics you’ll be handling while playing My Time at Sandrock, from collecting resources to battling angry animals wandering around the desert.

Each moment you spend harvesting resources, combating wildlife, or fishing is precious as it slowly eats away at your character’s stamina. Without any stamina, you’ll have to wait until the sunsets, and you can rest to prepare for the next day. How you go about your business each day is critical, making the first few weeks in the game precious, and the number of things you can do slowly stack up with more activities becoming available.

There’s never too much going on to where you’re left feeling you missed out on a day. There’s always just enough time to complete everything, so long as you’re on top of your daily routine and keep to a schedule.

There’s a rich experience in getting to know the many citizens of Sandrock, learning about what they like and dislike, and the chance to romance many of them. Although the concept isn’t new, you have the opportunity to divorce, offering a layer of realism some may find different from other simulator games.

Enduring the Desert

Image via Pathea Games

With Sandrock being in the middle of the desert, water is the most precious resource, and you have to use it wisely. Acquiring it can be difficult, and your workshop’s larger tools need water to break down resources into materials you can use for your crafting projects. Using water is made to be strategic, but it’s never overbearing.

You’ll have to meet multiple water requirements while living in Sandrock, and there are various activities you can do to keep it well supplied. Although you might find it problematic at first, as Sandrock opens up and you begin to find your footing, water management settles in alongside your farming and building activities, becoming a daily task to consider each time you step out your door.

Not only do you have to contend with water shortages, but there’s also the challenge of overcoming the dangerous sandstorms. These high-wind events force you to protect yourself from the unrelenting desert and some more threatening creatures wandering the desert capable of withstanding the harsh gusts. 

Much of the combat in My Time at Sandrock can be challenging, but the hardest part is the mechanics of fighting. Although My Time at Sandrock is in an Early Access build, we’ve found the combat to be the more difficult activity to tackle. The combat mechanics are basic and doesn’t have too much depth to it, with the mechanics feeling clunky and slow when performing a dodge or focusing on breaking the armor of a target.

Investigating the Old World

Image via Pathea Games

The city of Sandrock is above an Old World Metropolis ruin, and you can investigate this ancient underground to find rare relics, resources, and precious items to use in your workshop. The subsurface region is another activity to spend your time with, mining into the sands to find lost riches.

The ruins are another layer of exploration for you to seek out. You’ll need to slowly open it up to acquire more precious resources in these ruins for your higher-end construction projects.

Your daily routine in My Time at Sandrock will vary on how you like to spend your time and what you want to work on. You’ll dabble in a little bit of everything before you reach this point, from getting to know the citizens to making enough money for your workshop’s building investment. Fans of Stardew Valley are in for a real treat, and returning fans from My Time at Portia will feel right at home. We’ll have more to say about My Time at Sandrock later this week with a review of the game’s Early Access build.