Roots of Pacha Comments

Roots of Pacha Comments

Roots of Pacha Comments

I’ve spent decades inheriting dozens of remote farms with overgrown fields and abandoned sheds in dire need of restoration. Across acres of forgotten land, I methodically plowed, planted and harvested until I was welcomed by the locals. My reputation as an expert farmer allowed me to earn a modest living, and I often started farming before sunrise, sometimes working until a neighbor found me face down in a pile of turnips.

need to know

what is it? A cozy Stone Age farming sim that entertains the staples of the genre while tweaking the formula to create something new and compelling.

release date: April 25, 2023

Expect to pay: $25, £22

Developer: soda shop

Publisher: Kritivo

commented on: Windows 11 Pro, Intel Core i7 – 10700k CPU, 64GB RAM, GeForce RTX 3080 and Steam Deck

multiplayer game? Four-player online co-op

Association: Official website

just kidding! I can barely keep a cactus alive – though my resume would still be valid if I were allowed to count the hours spent in Harvest Moon. Some of my earliest “five more minutes” pleas were so I could keep an eye on Harvest Moon: get back to nature, long to see another heart event, attend a fishing festival, or name more pets. As a bright-eyed little girl, my farm was a brand new toy with dozens of potential friends. As an adult, I overwater my tomatoes. My fascination with Harvest Moon’s inhabitants and their daily routines has dulled, but I’ve been hoping that another farm life game will make me fall in love with this quaint town full of villagers all over again. I rediscovered the magic of community in Roots of Pacha.

Roots of Pacha is a prehistoric farming simulator that’s an excellent iteration of a genre known for finding fun in the humdrum and mundane. Pacha quickly established itself as a farming sim more keen on building community and friendship than any other similar game I’ve played. Instead of leaving the newcomers to fend for themselves, the Pachan Clan got together and settled down. I spent my first spring as a Pachan living at my grandparents’ house, and with their help, I steadily amassed “contributions,” Pacha’s public currency.

As an individual, I earn contribution points by putting items in the community bin. Those points belong to me; I can spend them on tools, seeds, furniture, and more, but I’m not the only one who benefits from success. My contributions go into the secondary prosperity pool, which over time will unlock better village infrastructure for the tribe to share. No one can exhaust the prosperity of the family, but everyone’s growth adds up.

(Image credit: Soda Den)

There’s also time for the usual gift-giving, romance, festivals, parties, cooking, and building—but even the most basic systems in Pacha benefit from its novel communal life. Clan shaman Vauk advised me to work with my clan to realize their “ideas”, and I learned not to minimize my farming specialization the hard way. In the first two seasons, I didn’t say much about Daari, the clan warden, or Reese the artist, and the rush to tame new animals and build huts meant that neither character came up with new ideas for processing produce or cooking. It wasn’t until late fall – when I hit a wall and needed to cook for other Pachans – that I realized my mistake. Revisiting the conversations with Daari and Reese has equipped my kitchen with more advanced tools, and I can now make recipes with stronger stat bonuses that help me with other chores.

reinvent the wheel

I heard my pop say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” in the most typical American Southern accent, and Roots of Pacha got it. In an era where Comfort Games is eager to add a spin to Stardew-like titles, Pacha doesn’t rely too much on replicating tedious ascents and grinding time slots or trying to be completely different. Ideas are typical tasks – they’re just neatly intertwined. Farm animals are plentiful, but I’m looking for and taming new critters instead of paying the rancher. There are so many crops to grow; each has its own nuances. Pacha might look a bit cookie-cutter if you squint, but tweak the formula too much and the game loses its effectiveness.

(Image credit: Soda Den)

The villager idea system’s elaborate network of intertwined chores for clan development pushed me forward. When the time came and I realized I’d have to wander into caves—my least favorite task in any game like Pacha—I found Acre, the village tool-making wizard. Excited at the prospect of realizing more ideas, I spelunked without thinking, never pausing to lament my new mining quest.

Instead of feeling like I was moving toward a bunch of different goals, I was delighted with how my accomplishments fit together organically. Acre often sends me quests to find new ores, and her idea means I can gather more materials for the project from her partner, Croll. The more I do for Acre, the more Croll can improve my own facility.

Speaking of animals, Pacha fulfilled my wildest Harvest Moon dreams with a huge roster of animals. I didn’t think I’d also live out my dream of being a zookeeper, but here we are (although in a real zoo, I think I’d get in trouble for riding some of the animals).

Despite trying to stay focused on tasks, I find myself constantly distracted in the best possible way. While looking for more animals, I would be distracted by an unfamiliar plant. One such find got me a handful of buckwheat seeds instead of the bright green ostrich I set out to find, but those seeds ended up turning into alcohol and sparking another Pachan idea. Two days later, she learned how to make vinegar and pickles.

(Image credit: Soda Den)

I still sometimes get too focused on a single product, but Roots of Pacha isn’t punitive. When I really like corn (it has juice), my knowledge ranks up on corn. Wild corn seeds suddenly evolved into domesticated corn on the cob. As a newly respected maize scholar, the Pachans gave me new ways to process the grain, helping me produce products like flour and oil. I had to wait until the following year to grow my pineapples, but I grew the best damn corn in all of Pacha – well worth the delay.

need a village

Initially, individual Pachans didn’t make much of an impression. I was more focused on implementing their ideas and improving the big picture, and in the end I found that these systems worked best because the game was very focused on the clan as a whole. My neighbors cared for each other and kept attracting me, and before I knew it, I was chasing more private and revealing scenes between individual Pachans and even outsiders of the family.

As the seasons cycle, my community welcomes new characters. Growth and tradition fueled my relationships, especially with characters like Mana, who became my love interest and marriage object. When I gave her the gift, I learned about Mana’s struggles with her father’s strict adherence to tradition. As his youngest child and only daughter, Mana’s father was frustrated with her attempts to appoint someone outside the family to represent them in clan games. Normally, this honor would go to the eldest son, but Mana had another suggestion. She wants to send Garrek, a young man unrelated to her family, with plenty of intelligence but no self-respect.

(Image credit: Soda Den)

Instead of a fragmented, personal storyline, Mana’s arc is woven into Garek’s struggles with confidence. He might be the most anxious figure in the group, but he’s a sharp pin, and the rest of the clan knows it. What started as a fleeting romantic interest led me to swing back and forth between the two, admiring Mana’s empathy and righteous frustration while hoping Garrek would eventually believe his comrades’ praise.

These threads foster a farming simulation where every chore has a purpose. Some ideas required more tedious tasks like fishing, but while I was on these excursions, I met another local, Inza, who improved my equipment to better help our neighbors. During the busiest moments (such as worrying about individual plant lore), some levels of complexity are overwhelming, and I do get the occasional frustrating bug, but my farm has never gotten worse from wear and tear . Roots of Pacha has earned its place among the farm-centric life sim juggernauts with its clever community-driven system – never ignoring genre staples like corn, and finding so much room to grow in places I didn’t even realize Innovate.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.