Considering the farming simulation genre has evolved from an underappreciated niche to an oversaturated trend, it’s noteworthy when a new entry takes the concept and does something new with it. Roots of Pacha does just that; on face value, it’s a farming/life simulator that has you grow crops, build relationships with townspeople and improve your equipment to become more efficient. Pretty standard so far. But where Roots of Pacha stands out is its setting, taking place in the early stages of humanity, where society was divided into tribes and core beliefs were connected to the soil of the Earth.
As your tribe settles to form a new village, progress occurs naturally through Ideas. This means that when a new day begins, a fellow tribe member may have an idea for a new development, whether that be technological, agricultural, etc. It is then up to you to gather the necessary resources to ensure this Idea comes to fruition, resulting in progress and prosperity. This concept is woven naturally throughout the context of the game and is a perfect recreation regarding the evolution of humanity. Additionally, the implementation of beliefs where animals are depicted as having ties to spiritual beings, as well as the importance of the earth (Pacha), draws respectful inspiration from many real-world indigenous customs.
One of our biggest gripes in farming simulation games (or any game, for that matter) is inventory management. Many farming games only provide you with a very finite amount of inventory space, resulting in you constantly having to go back and forth between item chests, meticulously swapping items around and, in some cases, halting your progress. Not once did we experience this frustration at Roots of Pacha! From the get-go, seeds and tools are kept in separate slots from your inventory, and you almost immediately have the ability to craft a storage chest with minimal resources. In addition, the user interface is superb, allowing you to flick through between your tools, seeds and inventory with ease, and we cannot thank the developers enough for this.
Where Roots of Pacha continues to stand out is in its setting variety. As the story progresses, you’ll unlock new locations to explore, including a beach, forest, savannah, caves and more. And the best part about exploring a new area is the possibilities it provides. For example, when you first step into the savannah area, you’ll immediately find new seeds; keep exploring and you’ll see spots where you can set traps. Then, you can head to the beach and catch some new fish you couldn’t get before. All of this encourages exploration moreso than many other farming simulators currently on the market, culminating in a much needed breath of fresh air.
Although the music can be quite passive at times, the variety of instruments and the music used to tame animals are absolute delights. And with half the development team hailing from Argentina, Roots of Pacha’s Latin American influences are evident throughout. For example, the use of Andean music (from the South American Mountains) when you attempt to tame a llama (a South American animal) is a wonderful nod to Latin American indigenous roots in a way that wonderfully complements the art and environment.
- Natural story developments
- Improvements to inventory management
- Beautiful and natural
- Splendidly accommodating music roots
While Roots of Pacha is a wonderful breath of fresh air in many ways, some of its pacing feels sluggish at times. For example, you may wake up one morning with a few new Ideas from your fellow tribespeople, resulting in days where you’re frantically trying to get everything done; then afterwards, you’re left twiddling your thumbs a little for a few days, waiting for something to develop. This may be due to the fact that we played the entire game in co-op, meaning the workload is less balanced to accommodate for this, but this could be considered an oversight, regardless.
The only other nitpick that we can think of is that at times, especially when we’re trying to discern between crops and what is ripe or not, some of the sprite objects can be difficult to differentiate. While some sprites are quite simple in design, others seem needlessly complicated.
- Slow paced at times
- Difficult to differentiate crop sprites
Final Score: 9/10
Roots of Pacha is a wonderful breath of fresh air in a recently oversaturated genre. Its setting and story development feel like a natural fit, providing a magnificent sense of discovery and intrigue. In addition, the item management and UI are the most intuitive we’ve ever experienced in a farming sim, allowing players to enjoy the game without unnecessary frustration.
As Roots of Pacha doesn’t explicitly mention any specific civilisation for its inspiration, the story and setting feel open and relatable. The plot and its cultural elements make the game feel connected with reality, and even on occasion, you may notice some on-the-nose inspirations from a variety of indigenous stories.
Thank you for checking out our Roots of Pacha Switch review, thank you to Soda Den (via Stride PR) for providing the review code and thank you to our Patreon Backers for their ongoing support: