Roots of Pacha Made Me Care About the Community
Image via Soda Den

Roots of Pacha Made Me Care About the Community

When going through games like Stardew Valley, Story of Seasons, and Roots of Pacha, people are meant to live their own lives and interact with the community. However, the degree to which NPCs get involved and people might care about them can vary. For example, your neighbors might be folks you’re friendly with in a Story of Seasons entry, but there’s a sense they’ll be fine without you if you weren’t around. With Roots of Pacha, there’s a sense of involvement that I felt made me feel more connected.

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Roots of Pacha is a farming and life simulator that also blends in a bit of “early civilization life.” You were adopted into a clan after being found as a baby. After a premonition, the group moved to a new area in the shadow of a giant tree. As you were essentially a nomadic group now settling down, it isn’t like you can head to whoever is charged with running the store in town for various needs. Instead, you gather from the environment, domesticate seeds and tame animals, and even turn your camp into a proper settlement and village by not only developing your own technologies, but meeting with other people and getting them to join your community.

So because you aren’t shipping goods to get money to advance or going to shops, instead you contribute the things you grow and get. This gets you contribution points after you deposit them in the communal bin. Hitting certain milestones increases the prosperity level of the settlement. So this means one of the first things you’ll see are suddenly torches everywhere to light up the fledgeling village at night. Which means yes, Roots of Pacha reminded me a bit of Stardew Valley and its community center, in that contributions and growth can change the general appearance of things. Albeit here it was more cosmetic and in Stardew Valley it meant more actual activities.

Roots of Pacha Made Me Care About the Community

Screenshot by Siliconera


Though the Ideas system, which is also tied to contribution points and your actions, also can bring Stardew Valley “objectives” and gathering to mind. So after my first week and after the village was at about 1,500 prosperity, Okka had the idea for Animal Friendship. After I brought her plant fibers, she made me a flute that would let me attune with animals to start to befriend them. Once I managed to tame one with my flute and the village’s prosperity was a bit higher, Croll got the idea for Animal Taming. He asked me for stone and wood to build the first Small Animal Shed, thus making it possible to bring animals to the village.

It’s a sense of progression that felt satisfying in a different way than my normal (virtual) lives in other farming sims. Because Roots of Pacha is so focused on community growth and building on people’s Ideas for new innovations to make farming and animal husbandry easier, it isn’t like Stardew Valley or Story of Seasons where I’m more focused on my own farm and profitability. I mean, yes, you do still get to build up your own home, getting a larger place, and can romance different characters to develop a family. But it feels like determining your success is more tied to what Ideas your contributions and actions helped inspire so you can do more.

So yes, Roots of Pacha is very much a farming and life simulation along the lines of Stardew Valley or even Story of Seasons. However, the focus on technological advancement really made me feel like it encouraged socialization more. I was very focused on the clan as a whole, with my decisions helping make everyone’s lives better. As such, I felt like I got invested in a different way than in similar games in the genre.

Roots of Pacha is available on PCs.


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Author
Jenni Lada
Jenni is Editor-in-Chief at Siliconera and has been playing games since getting access to her parents' Intellivision as a toddler. She continues to play on every possible platform and loves all of the systems she owns. (These include a PS4, Switch, Xbox One, WonderSwan Color and even a Vectrex!) You may have also seen her work at GamerTell, Cheat Code Central, Michibiku and PlayStation LifeStyle.