Roots of Pacha Review: I Can’t Put It Down

Roots of Pacha
Roots of Pacha

Roots of Pacha is the latest in a long line of cozy games that take a swing at the farming simulator genre. The game has been out on Steam for a few months now after some turmoil saw it removed for a period of time, and this week, it will launch for the Nintendo Switch for the first time. Luckily, this port is almost seamless, so now is the perfect time to pick it up!

Playing Roots of Pacha on the Nintendo Switch, I saw a few minor issues. A friend and I played the game and noticed the occasional stuttering when walking through heavily populated areas like the forest. I also saw one moment where the game crashed after I could not attune to animals. Everything was fine once the game rebooted, though I lost a day’s progress. My advice would be to make sure you actually close out the game after every play session and not leave it idle in the background.

Those being the only problems I saw with the port, I want to talk more about the game as a whole. Roots of Pacha is another fantastic entry in the world of farming and life simulators. You begin the game as early settlers, and you slowly see your village grow and evolve throughout your progress. 

What makes Roots of Pacha different from the likes of Stardew Valley is that you don’t just have your own personal farm that you see change as time goes on. You work together with your fellow villagers and unlock new areas to explore, but you also see new areas develop in your settlement. As time progresses, you will hit certain Clan Prosperity milestones and begin new town projects. 

These can include a sundial for telling time, an art station for creating, a new blacksmith area, and even simpler additions like a good place to nap or a watering hole for the village pets. These are projects your village works on independently and are, in a way, part of the story. There are also buildings from Croll that you commission, like stables, huts, your own home, and more that you can place around your fields and towns. One downside is that the map is locked to specific placements. Though you can choose which one for each building, there are a set number of areas, and you can’t reorganize the village outside these pre-set locations.

That being said, many of the decorations you place within your home are fully customizable, right down to painting your decorative pots square by square. Something extremely small in your home can suddenly burst with color, or you can customize the names and colors for your chests so you can better identify them. I don’t usually live for decorating and would rather reorganize the buildings themselves, but it is a nice added touch.

Roots of Pacha is very much a time-management game. Your day-to-day will consist of farming, fishing, gathering, talking to villagers, tending to animals, attuning new animals, hunting for new seeds, cave delving, and more. There is nothing out of the ordinary here regarding life sims in general. Something I did like was that while gathering in Roots of Pacha. You don’t find the fruits and vegetables themselves; you find seeds to grow. You later unlock an area where you can buy seeds you’ve already discovered with Contribution Points.

Contribution Points are essentially currency within Roots of Pacha. Every day, you can donate to the tribe. This could be meals, crops, processed foods, or found items. These will earn you Contribution Points, which you can then spend on items from the villagers, like meat, decorative items, clothes, bag expansions, new kitchen tools, and more. Each day, your entire village gains Clan Prosperity, and that essentially tells you the status of your village or level, so to speak. The higher this rises, the more ideas your villagers will come up with, and the more the town will take shape. 

Many days, you will have a new quest that says someone has an idea they’d like to work on. You find this person, find out what they need, and if you have enough Prosperity, they will begin working on it once you bring the correct ingredients. This is usually a new invention that could be a new way to cook something like drying fruit, making wine like a fermenter, or enhancing your crops through composting. It’s neat to see the different things develop as time goes on and they become more advanced.

One area I struggled with in Roots of Pacha was my relationships with my villagers. Some are friendly, and some are romanceable. In my 40-hour playthrough, I never got above two flowers with any of them. There are 10 in total. You can talk to them daily, give gifts, and help with their ideas, but it is a very slow-moving process. Honestly, though, it goes with the pace of the game. This also means you won’t complete everything simultaneously, always leaving something to work on.

But let me tell you, choosing between Garrek and Touk has been a tough one. As you progress, much like Stardew Valley, you will come across cutscenes where you have to choose a prompt to progress the scene. There is actually quite a bit of character in Roots of Pacha, with some genuinely real moments between the NPCs. As time passes and you raise these relationships, you will come across the cut scenes as you enter huts or areas.

Several areas unlock as time passes. One is the Jungle, where you can see the Pachan Prophecies, which are like achievements, and receive new jewelry or blessings that give bonuses to things like stamina. There is also the forest to the East, savannah to the North, and beach to the South. I’ve seen rumblings online of a volcano and tundra region, but I am not sure if those are in game yet or just rumors. 

These new areas are what unlock things like attuning animals, which means depending on the animal, you can take them on as pets or bring them to your village to gather things like fur, milk, eggs, feathers, etc. You will also discover new seeds in these areas each season, as well as new trees, fish, and ingredients. Each area aside from the Jungle also has a cave, and I eventually learned that they all connect. 

The forest is the first cave you will explore, and as you head further in, you will find different routes and materials. You will come across totems that require you to solve puzzles to unlock their forms. This was my least favorite part of Roots of Pacha by far and it felt very fantastical and out of place. 

You become an owl or monkey or find horses to traverse further in the cave. Becoming the monkey requires playing instruments to raise and lower totems to continue. It felt like they wanted to raise the difficulty without including combat, which I can understand, but it just didn’t sit right with me.

The main thing I took away from Roots of Pacha is how massive the game is. At over 40 hours played, there is still so much that I haven’t discovered. Between finding all the animals, fish, and recipes, finding love, unlocking all the caves, and more, I could easily put another 50 hours into the game. That is terrible from a reviewer’s standpoint because I want to be able to tell you as much as possible. But from a player’s perspective, I’m grateful for how much game I have left to play. 

With some minor performance issues and the sheer amount of content Roots of Pacha offers for only $24.99 USD, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the game to anyone who enjoys Stardew Valley, Fae Farm, or any other life or farming simulator. Developer Soda Den got this one right.

Roots of Pacha
Roots of Pacha Review: I Can’t Put It Down
Endless Content
Unique Gameplay Ideas
Sincere NPC Moments
Some Small Performance Issues
Out of Place Mechanics


  • Dayna Eileen

    Dayna is an all-Canadian long-time gamer and geek. She absolutely loves introducing the people she knows to her love for gaming and nerd culture. You can often find her writing about tech, gaming and media across the web.

Dayna Eileen

Written by Dayna Eileen

Dayna is an all-Canadian long-time gamer and geek. She absolutely loves introducing the people she knows to her love for gaming and nerd culture. You can often find her writing about tech, gaming and media across the web.

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