My Time at Sandrock, so much time that sand is now stuck where it never should stick.

I’ve played My Time at Portia, though I regrettably haven’t finished it as of writing this, and knowing how good of a game that was, I also wanted to play at Sandrock. In fact, I hope they make games for every location that’s mentioned in these games. And while I’ve played some of the early access for Sandrock, I kind of wanted to wait until it was fully released.

And now, it’s fully released.

Time to play some Sandstorm while dealing with sandstorms.

Explanation to Negative Feedback


Not the insects, but there are a good chunk of bugs in the game, which the devs are trying their best to smooth out.

But there have been a lot of moments where a cutscene was supposed to happen–such as when you first meet Fang–and it was just a black screen and silence throughout the entire cutscene. This happened a couple more times in different areas.

And if it wasn’t a cutscene that was getting chopped out, it was scene transitions that would just sit on a black screen for so long I either had to stop the game and restart it, or I just had to continue to wait until the game decided to come back to life.

Normally I don’t mind bugs, but when they stunt the actual gameplay, they become a problem.

Combat is clunky

It was never meant to be a combat-heavy game, with combat kind of taking a back seat in the sense that you only need to fight enemies if you need something they drop to craft something else, while everything else kind of took priority. But the combat can be worked on a bit–especially with moments where you’re on uneven ground with the opponent and your swings just never connect.

Just because you’re locked onto a target doesn’t mean your character is intuitive enough to get on their level to get some hits in.

Different character voices

I’m going to say some of the characters are like this, but especially Mort. If you listen to him have a conversation with you and then listen to his one-liners, they’re two completely different voices. I don’t know if they changed what they wanted his voice to be like or if they switched voice actors, but…it’s a bit jarring.

Explanation to Positive Feedback

House customization

So this is a bit interesting, as there’s a way you can actually customize the outside of your house to have it designed the way you want it to be designed, structure-wise. Which means nobody’s house ever looks the same unless you stick with the starting design–something I don’t really recommend long-term.

Aside from the outside, you can also customize the inside of your home, buying different decorations or even crafting them and sticking them in specific rooms that might cater to a theme.

It was a bit weird at first and I wasn’t too fond of the array of options, but it’s pretty fun once you get into at a later point.

So many items

Honestly, I don’t know if this is a pro or a con, but man there’s a lot of things you can gather or obtain or craft in this game, and not only that, but materials can be upgraded to higher qualities with a stat on them if you so choose–such as your weapons or gear.

But a lot of items also means you’re going to need a lot of space, which means buying inventory slots or acquiring large storage bins. The largest you can get come from the wandering merchant that comes at the 20th of every month and they’re pretty expensive when you’re just starting out, but they’re so worth it as you progress because…damn.




I suppose I’ve placed it in the pros because you have plenty to sell and plenty to craft and decorate your home with.

Wide range of characters

From old man Mort in the graveyard who’s easily forgotten since you don’t often go that way, to the blabberin’ country-man Cooper, this game has a host of characters that I’ve actually come to enjoy over the time of playing the game. The VAs have done an amazing job with all of them and you can definitely tell that they had a lot of fun while saying the voice lines.

Especially Pen.

Oh, Pen…

Links Worth Checking Out

  • Nothing here

My Time at Sandrock Review

My Time at Sandrock
My Time at Sandrock
My Time at Sandrock

All right, before we begin the gameplay, we must first create our character.

Man I love custom character creations, especially when you have a lot of options to choose from, and this game gives you quite the variety.

At the start, we can choose our name, gender–male or female–and then four different vocal ranges for either the male or the female. If you don’t want your character to have a voice, you can choose to go without one as well.

The next character creation section allows you to fiddle around with a variety of your character’s appearances. Thirteen options to tweak to your visual delight, in fact. And if you don’t want to spend a ton of time going through this process, you can randomize the appearance, although every randomized character for me looked hella frightening and I couldn’t deal with any of them.

I ended up making a character that looks like Pikachu, because who doesn’t love Pikachu?

(I’m not really a fan, but shut up.)

Now when it came to My Time at Portia we arrived by boat, but in My Time at Sandrock, we arrive by train, which having ridden on a train across some states is cooler than a boat.

That might be my thalassophobia speaking, though.

Unlike with most farming simulator type of games, this little workshop area did not come from an estranged father or deceased grandfather. Instead, it just so happens that one of the builders, Mason, is retiring from being a builder in this little town. And let me tell you, Mason is a man no longer interested in staying at this place, as he so kindly tells you to not try to become buddies with him as he won’t be staying much longer.

Got it.

And judging by the looks of his little builder area and the fact that he’s so well-known after being here a while…it’s safe to say that he never worked nearly as hard in a year as we’re going to work in a single week.

We’re also not tormented by a rival builder like we were in My Time at Portia. Instead, a second builder, Mi-an, has joined us in moving to Portia and she’s actually going to become our friend. God, that’s such a relief from dealing with Higgins and his arrogant attitude. I knew he hated my ass when I got top builder status in the first year.

The first person to introduce you to Sandrock is Yan in the quest Welcome to Sandrock!, who’s kind of your rival, but he’s super lazy despite having topped first slot as the number one builder to go to.

Seriously. He never does anything. He’s always at the commission building with his feet propped up on the desk. How the hell is he in first place? Is everyone else even lazier than him?

He does give you a helpful tip: due to the shortage of trees, don’t go chopping them down.

And by trees, I mean cacti. Don’t chop the cacti or you’ll have Burgess up your butt about it not being the right thing to do and if you keep doing it, he won’t be your friend. Well, Burgess, with your micro-managing skills, I honestly can’t say I’ll be too upset if I just happen to chop another cactus down in range of your beady little eyes. Technically, you can chop the cacti down, you just have to be careful of who’s around and how close to town you are. I tested it an entire day and nobody said anything to me. I wasn’t even being sneaky about it.

But all that doesn’t mean you can’t chop down shrubbery or dead trees. Those are fair game.

Which comes to the next problem that you’ll be facing for a little bit as you get started: lack of water.

Water is needed in order to run your machines, but your machines also need fuel. So you’ll have to juggle two things at once when it comes to crafting materials and such. I know Burgess is a bit of a Karen when it comes to water, but that’s because he manages it. You want water straight from the source? You’ll have to buy it from his shop. Or, you can chop shrubbery, mine rocks, and pick herbs outside which sometimes gives you dew. With enough dew you can make a tub of water.

I have to say that this was a bit rough-going at first, because the water itself from Burgess can become expensive after a while, and while you can gather dew, it’s never a huge amount. Plus the fact that you have to rinse-and-repeat to get the dew day after day.

Once you start getting points to use in skill trees, there are some things you can choose that will help out quite a bit when it comes to the water situation, though. Plus some of the equipment you can craft.

Speaking of the skill tree, however, they’ve made a bit of changes since My Time at Portia.

You no longer gain points when you level up, so don’t count on the fact that you leveled up meaning you can go into your skill tree and start picking perks. There are four sections for placing points into and those are Gathering, Workshop, Combat, and Social. The more you do within one of those categories the more points you’ll get for that tier.

For instance, if you’re constantly fighting the creatures of Sandrock, then you’ll acquire more points for Combat than any of the other sections. Same goes for if you interact with people more, keep doing commissions, gather materials from places, and keep building stuff at your workshop.

Which means if you really want a perk in a specific tier, then you better start doing things for that tier.

All right, now that I got through all that bullsh*t, in order to make the Pickhammer for The New Builder, the game teaches you to salvage things from piles of junk. Certain piles need a tool in order to get what you need from them, but the piles you’re looking for can be scrounged about with your hands.

All the germaphobes just fainted.

Also, these piles have either wood or stone jutting out of the dirt, just so you know what type of material you’ll get from it, which I liked.

At some point in the game, you probably won’t be messing with these smaller piles anymore (at least, I didn’t).

To point out what an awesome builder Mason was, he’s left a coiled rope on the ground–I’m wondering if it was intended for himself if he wasn’t able to get out of here fast enough–a broken furnace that you have to clean up, and a Stone Axe just tossed aside.

How the f*ck did he get anything done?

Actually, now I understand why Yan is topping the Workshop charts.

After creating the Pickhammer with the Worktable I went back to Yan who told me to go make a Recycler next via the Assembly Station. And like I’d stated before, when gathering the required materials for it, you don’t have to have them in your hand when actually building something on the Assembly Station.

During the time of gathering these materials, I noticed the train I’d gotten off of go by and as of right now with creating this review, I have been afraid to walk on those tracks, because that train flies.

These people in games like Life is Strange and The Vanishing of Ethan Carter who just wander on train tracks are crazy.

Once the Recycler was built I returned to Yan, but he didn’t want to go see it because he was sitting in his comfy chair with his feet propped and god forbid I’m proud of something I’ve done and would like to show the commissioning manager my work.

Instead we have to go over to City Hall and speak with Matilda to register our workshop by giving it a name as part of Becoming Official.

The best part of having a workshop is naming it, right?

I named mine Peekin@Chu since I look like a pikachu and in hindsight it sounds creepy to anyone walking by.

When approaching the City Hall you might notice a blue circular area on the minimap. This means that there’s a cutscene that will happen within this area upon approaching it, so if you ever want to avoid a cutscene for some reason or another, just avoid approaching these areas until you’re ready.

During this scene, we’re met with a character named Pen.

Hmm… it is decided! I, the magnificent Pen, the protector of Sandrock, as of five seconds ago, have taken it upon myself to offer you… a combat lesson!

Yeah, thanks Pen.

As far as combat in this game goes, you get four different varieties of weapons, not including a gun, that you can choose from. And each one of these weapons have their own little talents to them. And of course, every weapon has its own playstyle.

During this combat tutorial you’re going to learn the different things you can do, such as attack, dodge, and lock on. That’s really it…but it’s not too bad when you’re fighting on flat ground like during these sparring matches, which you can do with a variety of characters. It’s when you’re on uneven ground that you realize how bad the combat can be.

At the end of the combat tutorial, lo and behold, Pen whoops our ass, but the thing that makes me not like Pen the most at the very beginning isn’t his arrogance. It’s the fact that he calls me this:

Farewell, Skinny Arms.

I’m level 1 you assh*le.

At least Matilda is nice when you approach her for the Builder License.

As you head toward Yan to turn in your quest, there’s a cutscene of him about to get his own ass beaten, and not by Pen. Also note that this area did not have a blue circular area around it signifying a cutscene upon approach because it’s connected with the storyline, I guess, and Pen was just…separate from what you were initially there for?

I don’t really know, but that’s the reason I’m sticking with.

Picking Up the Slack is the first huge commission of the game we’re taking on. Rocky needs two crane lifts within Paradise Lost, which is a place you’ll be paying to get into in order to enter some ruins as well as gather some scrap from the scrapyard itself.

But you know, since we need supplies in order to craft the crane lifts, he’s going to give us a week’s free pass to enter the ruins and such.

This is the part of the game where you’ll create a Furnace in order to craft bars. Honestly, I built a lot of furnaces near the start, just because they’re pretty easy to make and they can pump out a lot more bars that way, but also remember that you’re going to need both water as well as fuel.

The fuel can come from salvaging and ruin-diving, but not-so-much the water.

Now even though Rocky needs two crane lifts, we only need to build one, because Mi-an will be building the other one. Again, I’m very glad that she is not a rival, because it would be such a pain to have to build two crane lifts.

You’ll notice when looking at the crane’s diagram that there’s a note to go to the Commerce Guild for the Thick Rope recipe.

That’s because aside from the Thick Rope you’ll find on the ground of your workshop, the only way to craft them is by buying the recipe for it at the shop in the Commerce Guild. It’s tucked away on the right side as soon as you enter.

Another lesson I’ll add in here is the Market Price percentage. Just like in My Time at Portia, the prices in town fluctuate, so you’ll want to buy when market price is in the green and possibly sell when the market price is in the red.

The shops also have a set amount of gols to them, but that’s something worth noting in the future when you actually have a lot of things you can sell.

Honestly, take your time with this commission as there’s no rush. Plenty of side missions will pop up in the meantime, especially if you’re constantly interacting with the townsfolk.

Speaking of townsfolk, I headed over to the Research Center to speak with Qi for the mission On the Shoulders of Buried Giants. He talks nerdy to me about the Data Discs I found while I broke down some scrap piles. Data Discs are going to be very important to you and Qi, basically because…

Bring me Data Discs and I’ll give you new diagrams. Simple enough.

God, you know, I really like Qi, he’s adorable looking with that mussed hair and sloppy tie, but man. He really looks down on people that aren’t on his IQ level. Whenever he has to explain something it’s all a f*cking duh to him.

I only had one Data Disc so there was really no point in researching anything, but if you want to see everything that’s on offer, you can either choose it through interacting with him, or interacting with his machine on the main floor.

Before going to bed I put my Builder License on the outside of my house beside my door so everyone could see my accomplisment.

On the second day, I met Jasmine who does the postal service, basically.

She’ll ask if you want to get to know the town a bit better through an escort tutorial and if you choose to do so, she’ll point out the following areas:

  • Wandering Y Yakmel Ranch
  • Martle’s Oasis
  • Main Street
  • Church of the Light temple

After the tour I went back to my workshop and checked the mail where I found the newspaper that Jasmine had delivered–you can subscribe to it in town beside the City Hall building, as well as place in an ad that will boost your sales when it comes to taking on commissions.

As you read the newspaper, you can look at the different sections to offer more insight on their story.

We’ve also got a letter from our Ma.

Yes, that’s right, you’re able to receive and send messages to and from your mom as well as your best friend when they come through. If a response is warranted, there are multiple choices you can choose from for a different incoming reply.

I’m happy that we aren’t entirely cut off from our family by coming here, and that we still actually have a family that cares, even if it is just our mom and best friend.

You’ll also get letter from the church talking about Fireside Meetings. They’re important meetings that you’ll want to attend outside of City Hall, which you’ll get a reminder for an hour before it begins, but if you do happen to miss some, the next day you’ll get mail talking about what was discussed during it, so you don’t really fully miss out…but it’s still good to go to get all the information straight from the source.

Since I had 6 Data Discs on me, I went to the Research Center and decided to purchase a Processor. I wouldn’t really recommend going to the second row once you have enough Data Discs unless you’re feeling confident that you have the materials that those machines can craft.

Otherwise there will be commissions for items that you can’t make, despite having learned the machine diagram.

Nothing is worse than thinking you can make something for someone, only to realize you have to have a level 2 Worktable to craft it and you’re stuck with a level 1.

Of course, I haven’t even talked about the commission board yet, so let’s do that.

You can find commissions posted on the board on the left when you enter the Commerce Guild. At the start, you’ll probably want to stick with the single star commissions, as the two stars might require materials that you aren’t able to obtain yet, or you might not have the appropriate machines.

If you hover over the icon it’ll show the amount you have, if you have any, which is a plus, since if you’ve already crafted them, you can just go to that person and hand in the commission without needing to get the item itself.

Otherwise, you’ll need to craft whatever they want within a specific amount of time, which you can find their expiration date on the bottom, as well as who it’s for, and the amount of gols, experience, and workshop rating you’ll obtain from finishing it.

Sometimes commissions will have a little space shuttle on it, meaning you’ll need to get it done in a more timely manner than the others.

That’s honestly all you need to know for now.

After visiting Heidi to turn in one of the commissions, I opened the chest located on the upper floor and found a relic piece for A Piece of the Past, which then had me heading into the direction of Catori, and then to the Museum in order to reconstruct the relic.

The Museum is rather disappointing in comparison to the one at My Time at Portia. In that game, you had multiple rooms to place relic pieces in, but in this game, there’s only the one room, so clearly we’re seeing budget cuts here.

Maybe that shows how poor this place is compared to a place like Portia that’s thriving with the kind of greenery we can’t get in the desert.

Due to its small size, it does become a bit worrying on where you would place anything and everything that’s capable of going into the Museum in the first place. While some of the shelves have multiple places to put things, there are other places that obviously only have a single space to view something.

That’s where the “storage” comes into place.

Honestly, I’m not a fan of the idea, but I know why they did it. Literally no space. So you can choose one item that’ll be looked at, while other items are placed into storage and not seen.

Of course, a perk of putting relics in the Museum are the items you can receive at the front desk, depending on the amount you’ve placed in here.

But for now, use the Relic Restoration Machine that requires not only all pieces of a relic, but also Data Discs to complete. I didn’t have enough Data Discs to complete my relic, so you can only imagine the eye-roll I did when I saw that.

The curse of taking on certain missions a little too early when you’re just not jacked up on items yet.

The Fireside Meeting was at 18:00, but it’s actually good to head there an hour early or so just to be able to talk with everyone that’s there for the meeting. This way you can earn their favor a bit easier than whenever you see them any other day by either speaking with them, giving them a gift, or playing cards.

Normally, I don’t like card games within games–specifically looking at you Gwent–but I actually like the card game in My Time at Sandrock just because it’s easy and quick and done in three rounds. All you have to do is choose a card–all of them are depicted as an animal (cat, mouse, elephant, fox)–and hope that you win against the opposing card four times.

It’s like rock, paper, scissors in card format.

Anyway, the meeting itself introduces us and Mi-an as the new builders.