“There’s never a moment where you’ll have nothing to do in My Time at Sandrock” | You just left home to work as a builder at a town in the middle of the desert called Sandrock, and after getting a tour of it, meeting the townsfolk and getting to know about their current situation, you make a promise with a fellow new builder that the both of you will take it back to its glory days.
ℹ️ Reviewed on Xbox Series X | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer. Got unanswered questions about this game? Get in touch on X!
|PM Studios, Inc.
Some of the Halloween decorations for the event that happens in the town
Things I liked!
- Character customization | When creating your character, you’ll have a good amount of customisation options, including skin colour, face shape, hair, eyebrows, eyes, ears, nose, mouth, facial hair, face tattoo, eyeshadow, blush, and lipstick. Some of these can be changed later in town if you want to, and there are also plenty of clothing items you can acquire by completing quests, exploring, and buying from shops, including clothes that can only be acquired during events. It seems like you can only set your birthday to a day in Spring, but it can be any day of it.
- Building relationships | You can build your relationship with most of the townsfolk by talking to them, gifting them what they like, playing a card game called Critters with them, finishing commissions for them among other things. You can get romantically involved if you get close enough to some of them, I chose to get into a relationship with Mi-an, a new builder in town just like you, and you can kiss and hug your partner, go on dates, marry, and even have kids with them. There are optional quests that are only available once you get close enough to an NPC.
- Good voice-acting | Characters are charismatic and pretty well-voiced, their personality is quite clear, some being funny in their own ways, and some being a bit more on the serious side. As you get closer to them, you will feel connected to them.
- Never stop | There’s never a moment where you’ll have nothing to do in My Time at Sandrock, there are many options, and you’ll have to constantly keep doing different things to progress in the story, get workshop reputation, and get more gols, which is what the currency in Sandrock is called. You will be mining, chopping down deadwood, gathering plants, crafting a wide variety of items, planting crops, fighting animals and monsters, managing your own livestock, finishing commissions, sandfishing, exploring ruins, etc. It’s going to be a while before you can finally start planting, but once you do, know that plants need to be watered, can be fertilized, and even have their preferred seasons. There were multiple instances where I told myself I’d either stop playing or focus on a specific activity, but something else showed up and kept me going for a while longer.
- Kind of an RPG | You can level up by getting experience, which you’ll get by mining, chopping wood, talking with locals, crafting items, completing quests, defeating animals/monsters, harvesting crops, etcetera. You will get specific skill points for different kinds of actions you do, for instance, if you talk enough with NPCs, you will get a skill point that can only be used in the social skill tree you have, the same can be said about combat, and gathering resources.
- Minigames | If you’re a fan of minigames, don’t worry, as there a few of them in My Time at Sandrock. There’s the already mentioned Critters, which is a simple card game that involves animals, it works similarly to rock, paper, scissors. There’s an arcade with a few minigames, one being a whack-a-mole, another two that are actual arcade machines, and others that can be unlocked, like Mahjong, and stargazing. There is one minigame where you have to spot the differences between two objects and I could be forgetting to mention others.
- A lot of walking around, with a catch | When starting the game you’ll need to walk around quite a bit, but as you progress, you will be able to rent or buy a mount, and even craft fast travel stations called Yakmel Stations, Yakmel being a cow-like creature with two humps on its back, and install them in specific places to help you get around a lot more quickly than before.
- Events | In My Time at Sandrock there are four seasons, all of them only having a month each, and they all have different events with different activities available on specific dates. There is an event that equates to Halloween, with a Prop Hunt-like ghost-hunting minigame, a Christmas-like event where an airship drops a bunch of presents, a rhythmic dancing minigame at another date, among others. They were all pretty nice to play and were also good to change things up a bit from the usual quests. Nothing special happens when it’s somebody’s birthday, except that you get extra social points for gifting them that day.
- Pets | When you get far enough into the game, you’ll be able to adopt pets once you get close enough to animals from town that don’t have an owner. Once they do become your pet, you can send them out to dig, collect water, collect natural resources, and explore, all of these activities will give you different resources.
- Soundtrack | There is a good variety of songs in My Time at Sandrock, different songs play when you’re in a fight, on event days, when you get married, and inside ruins which are basically dungeons, among other circumstances. They do have the appropriate tone to them, being faster in combat and slower in day-to-day life, I didn’t think it was one of the best I’ve heard, but it was still pleasant to listen to.
- Graphics | As you can see through the images from this review, My Time at Sandrock doesn’t aim to be a realistic-looking game, with a nice and vibrant cartoon/animation aspect. I can’t say how different it looks with the quality mode turned on, since I can’t play games in 4k, therefore, I only played with the performance mode on, but despite some rare textures not looking as good as they should, the game as a whole looked pretty good.
Posing for a picture with Justice, Sandrock’s sheriff
Neither good nor bad
- Nothing to see here | Keep scrolling reader, there is nothing for you to read here.
That doesn’t look right, huh?
Things I disliked!
- Slight performance issues/bugs | Right on the initial cutscene I experienced a bug where my character’s hair was “flickering” a bit, and performance issues seemed to happen whenever there was a lot of movement on a cutscene. There was an instance where the moon looked weird as if the image wasn’t enlarged enough to look like it should. Characters occasionally get stuck on steps and walls. When I got married in-game, the special song that plays for the marriage got stuck, playing for as long as I continued playing without exiting and re-entering the game. Finally, there was a quest-related bug, where I needed to fix a window from a train, but after I reloaded my save file, the train wasn’t where it was supposed to be, but I still managed to fix the window from the non-present train anyway.
How long did I play the game before publishing the review? 70-80 hours
How long to beat the story? Around 80 hours
How many Achievements did I earn before publishing? 25/30
How long to achieve 1000G? 60-80 hours
You’ll love this game if you like these | Harvest Moon, Stardew Valley, Story of Seasons, My Time at Portia
090/100 ⭐| My Time at Sandrock is a massive game to play, with a good message about conserving water, a lot of variety, and very captivating gameplay, characters, and a surprisingly interesting story. I really liked the many hours I put into it, and I believe you will also like it.
Hi there, I’m Gabriel Colombo (Hence my reviewer name), I live in Brazil and I’ve been gaming since I was around 5 years old. Xbox became my main platform on the Xbox 360 era, before that I had played a bit on PC, Polystation (basically a skinned SNES), PlayStation 1 and 2. I really enjoy to experience immersive worlds, but I also enjoy playing silly games to have a laugh or just have fun.