Roots of Pacha is the kind of game you want to play on a rainy evening, wrapped up in a blanket and carrying a hot drink.
Judging by the way this game sells itself, Roots of Pacha promised me one thing above all else: coziness . And in that regard, it did not disappoint. This game is perfect for spending an evening away from all the worries that the day brings, especially as we head into the cold season.
Developer: Soda Den
Publisher: Soda Den
Release Date: April 25, 2023
The graphical style is reminiscent of 16-bit games, and the pixel graphics aesthetic captivates me every time. It’s very well done, and you can tell a lot of love and passion was put into it. The pixel art style might not appeal to everyone, but with Roots of Pacha you definitely know what you’re getting. The animations are surprisingly fluid, which adds to the overall aesthetic impression. In short, the gameplay is enjoyable and not at all choppy, which is a common problem in similar pixel games with a top-down view.
Roots of Pacha combines a farmer simulator with RPG elements, set in the Stone Age. So, your journey takes place as a member of a tribe of settlers. Your duties include harvesting, hunting and gathering resources to support your people.
Things can start off very simple with only a hand axe at your disposal. Later in the game, you will learn how to create new and improved tools that will help you harvest crops and also open up new worlds for you to explore. Soon you will have to mine minerals in a sinister cave, trade valuable goods and make friends with wild animals.
What I personally like most about Roots of Pacha is the mini-games that you can play to catch fish, tame animals, and so on. This adds a refreshing variety to the farming sim, as they tend to be pretty rough. These fun little games ensure that the gameplay doesn’t get too repetitive and remains engaging for a long time.
The game presents a new perspective on the progression of events, especially interesting since the action takes place in the Stone Age. Players must invent new ways of doing things, such as reading the time. At first you won’t recognize the exact time of day because (yes) there is obviously no clock. Only after the creation of the sundial will the minimalistic screen that used to show the position of the sun be replaced by a digital time display. This and many other innovative ideas set Roots of Pacha apart from other games in the genre, such as Stardew.
One of the features of Roots of Pacha is its well-written story. While they haven’t reinvented the wheel, the story still feels like it belongs in the world you’re playing in, and you’ll want to keep playing to explore more of the little details you might encounter. Not only is the narrative cute, but it’s also surprisingly smooth, making the game feel effortless to play.
The soundtrack is the first thing I noticed when I first launched Roots of Pacha. The soothing melodies fit perfectly with the mysterious and magical stone age theme. The game has a great sound design that makes the game even more atmospheric and relaxing. Throughout the game you will hear little unique melodies, such as when you befriend animals on the flute. An instrument that seems to tame all kinds of wild animals in the forest.
You can play alone or with friends. In Roots of Pacha, you can invite up to three friends to your village. They can live next door to you, contribute to the tribe’s resources and exchange items with each other.
After the beginning, Roots of Pacha starts off at a slow pace, which may seem boring to those looking for adventure and adrenaline. Personally, although I’m used to this type of game, it sometimes felt too slow at first. Nothing much happens in the first few days of the year, and sometimes I felt like I had almost nothing to do.
In the early stages, players may feel a bit lost as there is no detailed tutorial in the game. However, this lack of help can actually be welcome for those who like to discover and figure things out on their own.
While the game isn’t overly complex and lacks intense survival or action elements, the game instead focuses on maintaining a cozy, wholesome atmosphere with a strong emphasis on visual details and a love of storytelling.
Roots of Pacha delivers exactly what it promises: a cute and casual game that won’t overwhelm you. The gameplay is surprisingly original, offering many ways to customize play styles and an addictive loop. The graphics are beautiful, designed with great attention to detail and contribute to a relaxing experience. The story in this game is not revolutionary, but it is not boring at all.
If you’re looking for excitement and action, you won’t find it here, as it’s more of a relaxed and casual game than an action-packed one.
To summarize, Roots of Pacha is a game for those who enjoy this kind of tedious and slow gameplay. Anyone who does will have tons of fun with the game and will definitely fall in love with it very quickly.
Beautiful, detailed Stone Age setting
Farm mechanics are well adapted to the setting
A touching communion with the clan and nature
Many incredibly cute animals and interactions
Inventory management takes some getting used to at first
Limited new areas later in the game
Irrigation system only at the very end of the games