Good Times with My Time at Sandrock: Game Review

It’s happened again, someone let me review another farming sim! My Time at Sandrock has been fully released, and we got the chance to play in the Eufaula Desert. 

Good Times with My Time at Sandrock: Game Review

Sandrock has been on my radar for a while now. I discovered the first of this series, My Time at Portia, by chance, and it quickly became a firm favourite of mine. When developers Pathea announced a sequel, I was excited to see where these new adventures in the Free Cities would take us. 

Also Reviewed by Emily

My Time at Sandrock Gameplay

If you have played My Time at Portia, then the Sandrock gameplay will feel very familiar. You are a Builder starting out in a new town, and you must develop your skills, workshop, and relationships with the townsfolk. All for the betterment of Sandrock.  

Sandrock, as the name might suggest, is a town surrounded by sand and rocks. It is located in the Eufaula desert and is one of the Free Cities established after the Calamity, an apocalyptic event that happened three hundred years ago. Over recent years, the harsh environment and water scarcity have led to a decline. It’s up to you and fellow new Builder, Mi-an, to turn the tide and bring life back to this desert town. 

My Time at Sandrock game still from press pack

Builder Mechanics

The mechanics and controls for My Time at Sandrock are very much what you would expect from a farming sim, even though it has a greater focus on building than farming. You have some basic tools, there are resources galore, and you have enough building knowledge to get your career going. One of your first tasks is to craft a new tool, the pickhammer, which will be your go-to for mining, salvaging mechanical parts from broken robots, and breaking rubber. The first days serve as your tutorial, introducing facets and controls as they are needed. What’s more, you can access these tutorials in the main menu, should you need a refresher.  

As a builder, your main work will be filling commissions made by the townsfolk. This could be providing them with materials or crafting items for them. In any case, you will need to build machines to process resources. With the help of data discs and the Research Center, you will get the blueprints for many wonderful contraptions, including a furnace, grinder, and even a cooking station. The more machines you make, the more efficient your production line will be. 

My Time at Sandrock game still from press pack

The Desert

Adding a new layer of complexity is the fact this game is set in the desert. Firstly, Sandrock is affected by sandstorms. You can only go out and work in them if you have the proper attire. 

This is a harsh environment, and the few scant trees there are help to protect Sandrock from the brunt of corrosive sand. As such, you will get told off for chopping down trees too close to town, and risk relationships if you do! You are there to improve the land, not make it worse! (Yes, I may have gotten scolded for this on my very first day.)  

Most importantly, water is a scarce and precious resource. A vital one, at that. The water tank is an integral part of your workshop, providing moisture and cooling for the many machines you will craft, thus enabling them to work. If your water tank dries up, then your machines will overheat, and your production line will grind to a halt. To combat this, you can craft a dew collecting machine and convert the drops you find into usable water – either for your water tank or crops, it’s up to you how you manage this resource.  

The desert even affects the way you grow crops, as you have to lay down a straw grid to protect the seeds. As you grow more crops, the desert soil will become more nutrient rich and grow better quality plants. Of course, it wouldn’t be a farming sim without cute critters to look after, too. As you develop your workshop, these will become available to rear and care for. 

My Time at Sandrock game still from press pack

Content for Days

The balance of story, side, and daily quests allow you to play at your own pace whilst still progressing the narrative. Plus, there is so much to see, do, develop, and explore that there is never a dull day in Sandrock! In addition to the main story, there are 107 side quests, 143 romance quests shared amongst the 21 romance-able NPCs, 14 mini-games, and 27 dungeons. Like I said, never a dull day! 

There are over thirty new characters to meet and befriend in this town. From the Civil Corps captain Justice to the local tailor Vivi; there are even roaming cats, dogs, and an owl to befriend! Each character has a unique voice, creating an electric cast of zany people. Plus, who you choose to woo isn’t locked by your character’s gender. Your future Sandrock spouse will be the person you vibe with best, and you can even break up if you fancy a change. (I’m all about Owen myself, he cooks and tells stories!) 

As with any life sim, there are festivals to celebrate throughout the year. These are some of the mini-games you can play, earning specialist currencies to spend on clothes and furniture for your home. Select mini-games can be played by talking to the townsfolk, such as a card game or friendly combat matches. 

Your fighting skills can be developed in dungeons or by taking on the wild critters that roam the land. One of my favourite things about the My Time Series is the name of the monsters. They are bonkers in the best way. Take on Cock-a-Doodle-Dooms, Hot Honey BBQ Bumble Ants, and Rockyenarolls – they provide a good laugh, vital experience, and resources! 

My Time at Sandrock game still from press pack

Art and Music

Finally, I want to talk about the art style and music. The vibrant and colourful design is what drew me to Portia in the first place. Sandrock uses the same style in its own way, as the characters, landscaping, and overall feel are very recognisably My Time, just with a few improvements that come from making a game three years later. 

Now, the music. Once again, it fits the overall tone of the My Time Series but distinctly characterises Sandrock. Both Portia and Sandrock were composed by Claude Ruelle, which creates continuity. Sandrock embodies a Western twang, reminiscent of Firefly at times, and it is honestly a delight to listen to. Hats off to Claude Ruelle! 

My Time at Sandrock game still from press pack

Do I Need to Have Played My Time at Portia?

Whilst Sandrock is part of a wider world, it’s not imperative to have played My Time at Portia to fully enjoy My Time at Sandrock. It is its own game that just so happens to exist as part of a wider universe. There is some world building, in reference to the surrounding cities and the Calamity, but it’s used more as texture rather than intrinsic to the story. 

I will say it is probably weird to play Portia for the first time after playing Sandrock, as there have been some quality-of-life controls implemented in the sequel that will be sorely missed. 

My Time at Sandrock game still from press pack

Our Thoughts on Sandrock

I had high hopes for My Time at Sandrock, and it did not disappoint. It hit all the notes I loved about Portia, from its sandbox gameplay to the unique brand of bonkers Pathea has infused in this series. Sandrock has retained the heart and soul of Portia and evolved them into something all its own. Where this truly shined was in the implementation of the desert mechanics. Most farming and life sims follow a basic structure, and it’s the little things that make them stand out. For Sandrock, it was operating in this harsh environment, paired with the zany characters and colourful world, that kept gameplay fresh and compelling. 

This game isn’t without its bugs – to be fair, neither was Portia – but they do not make the game unplayable. (Save that time I walked out of my house on Portia and fell through the sky, that was fun!) Thankfully, Pathea is very good at releasing hot fixes and are actively looking for quibbles to fix on the Steam discussion boards. 

Overall, My Time at Sandrock was everything I needed to be. A fitting evolution of a game I love – more building and farming fun with a stunning soundtrack I will happily listen to while working. Whether you’re a fan of the original or looking for a farming sim with a twist, My Time at Sandrock is an absolute gem. 

Even in this long review, I haven’t managed to cover every facet of this game that I enjoyed – you’re just going to have to play it for yourself! (And then come fangirl or boi with me.) 

My Time at Sandrock game still from press pack

What Platforms Can I Play My Time at Sandrock On? 

My Time at Sandrock is available to play on PlayStation 5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. I played on the Switch, as this was the platform I used to play Portia. (There’s only so much space in this noodle for game controls!) 

There is an online co-op available to play with up to four builders. In this sandbox mode, you and the squad can explore, find resources, develop your workshop, take on quests, and share materials. There are even mini-games to be played!

My Time at Sandrock game still from press pack

Announced in April 2024, crossplay is coming to My Time at Sandrock. We currently only have a teaser trailer, but it promises cross-platform co-op multiplayer! Our Time at Sandrock, here we come!

My Time at Sandrock Official Specifications

Do you have what it takes to be the next best Builder? Here are the official specifications for My Time at Sandrock: 

ComponentMinimum SpecsRecommended Specs
Operating SystemWindows 10Windows 10
ProcessorIntel Core i3-2100
AMD FX-6300
Intel Core i7-9700K
AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
GraphicsNVIDIA GeForce GTX760
AMD Radeon 7950
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060
AMD Radeon RX 580
DirectXVersion 11Version 11
Storage50GB available space50GB available space
NotesRecommend installing Sandrock on SSD
Minimum System Requirements might change in the future
Recommend installing Sandrock on SSD
Recommended System Requirements might change in the future

Best PCs to Play My Time at Sandrock

The official spec for Sandrock isn’t that demanding but, just like your workshop, there’s always room for upgrades. At Overclockers UK, we have an extensive range of gaming PCs and laptops that are perfect for exploring the Eufaula desert and reviving Sandrock’s economy. We’ve picked out a few of our favourites below, plus a headset for enjoying Claude Ruelle’s soundtrack. Should any of these not be the right fit for your workshop, you can explore the full ranges available. 

Refract Celeste Pre-Built PC

The Refract Gaming Celeste is your perfect desert companion, with its cherry-picked hardware and cool blue aesthetics. Equipped with an AMD Ryzen 7 7700X CPU, this gaming PC harnesses the power of Zen 4 architecture to provide you with a five-star gaming platform. Plus, with 32GB DDR5 RAM and high-speed storage, all your favourite life sims, programs, and applications will run smoothly with near-zero latency. To bring the Eufaula desert to life, the Celeste utilises an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 GPU with Ada Lovelace architecture and all the latest NVIDIA innovations. 

Even better, the Refract Celeste is pre-built, pre-tested, and ready to ship with next day delivery (stock allowing), so you can improve your workshop without delay! On top of this, it comes with a three year parts and labour warranty, for that extra peace of mind should anything go wrong. 

Refract Gaming Celeste 2023

ASUS ROG Strix G16 Gaming Laptop 

ASUS ROG Strix G16 NVIDIA RTX 4060, 16GB, 16.0" WUXGA 165Hz, Intel i7-13650HX Gaming Laptop

Take your workshop on the go with the ASUS ROG Strix G16. This gaming laptop is equipped with an Intel i7-13650HX CPU, featuring advanced hybrid core architecture that is intelligently managed by Intel Thread Director. Paired with 16GB DDR5 RAM, this gaming laptop will run as smoothly as your workshop! The ASUS ROG Strix 16 has an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 GPU and WUXGA 16” screen that will work in tandem to render My Time at Sandrock in stunning detail.  

Staying cool in the desert is important. This gaming laptop utilises the ROG Intelligent Cooling system, that features Tri-Fan technology, a full-width heatsink, and Conductonaut Extreme liquid metal on both the CPU and GPU. All of this works cohesively to provide efficient and quiet thermal performance, keeping your vital components cool whilst you toil under the hot sun. 

OcUK Gaming Zirconium Configurable PC

Bring the best tech to Sandrock with the OcUK Gaming Zirconium. This gaming PC is equipped with a 14th Gen Intel CPU, harnessing the very latest in hybrid core architecture and advanced efficiency. What’s more, you can game with incredibly immersive graphics, thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 GPU. Featuring the advancements in ray tracing and AI upscaling, this graphics card is a vital tool for all your life sim gaming! 

Even better, the OcUK Gaming Zirconium is one of our configurable gaming PCs. This means you can adjust the base spec from a pre-selected list of hardware to make the performance better suit your needs. Customise the CPU, memory, graphics card, operating system, and choose up to three high-speed storage drives. Please note that any changes to the spec will affect the price. 

OcUK Gaming Zirconium - Intel Core i7 14700KF, GeForce RTX 4080 Pro Gaming PC

Corsair HS65 Surround Gaming Headset

Corsair HS65 Surround Gaming Headset - Black (CA-9011270-EU)

I cannot stress enough how good the score is for My Time at Sandrock, so you’ll need a headset to do it justice! The Corsair HS65 Surround Gaming Headset delivers in both sound quality and comfort, so you can spend all day developing your workshop and vibing to the tunes. Featuring custom tuned 50mm neodymium drivers, this headset will provide the full range of excellent sound whether you’re mining for resources or deep in combat. Plus, there is support for 7.1 surround sound when used with a PC or Mac, as well as the option to customise your sound control through SonarWorks SoundID Technology. 

Thanks to the 3.5mm jack connector, the Corsair HS65 can also be used with your Switch and other gaming platforms. 

Happy Building

How will you spend your time at Sandrock? Let us know in the comments below if you’ll be in the Eufaula Desert on your next gaming session! 

PC specs are subject to change.

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