Patron builds upon the foundations laid out by the staples of the survival city builder genre and enhances the experience with a large research tree and by introducing intricate social dynamics into the game and the genre in general. Happiness, the standard simple feature of all such games, in the case of Patron is a complete gameplay system in its own right.
Patron starts off similarly to other games in the genre, but then veers off exploring social intricacies and what it means to truly run a society and not just a city filled with automatons.
Each individual citizen in the town has his needs, desires and issues troubling him or making him happy. Some citizens are more concerned with immigration, while others are more aggravated by tax-related issues. If the citizen's view on the subject is in line with what the town government (YOU, the player) is doing, he'll be happy. Works the other way around as well.
To make the best of the opportunities in this new land, you will need to construct residential houses, farms, production plants, manufacturing buildings and dozens of other buildings needed to harvest the riches of the land.
Every decision you make as Patron will be met with different reactions from different social groups. You'll need real political talent to balance sensitive matters as religion, immigration, loyalty, poverty... Whatever you choose to do can lead to unforeseen consequences years later.
Managing your tasks and citizens in a timely and efficient manner allows you to prepare and adapt to external variables like harsh weather or different seasons.
The world is changing and you must make sure you're advancing at the proper pace. Only by constant advancing and research will your society be able to stand the test of time.
No matter what you do, unexpected tragedies can always strike your people. They will look to you for protection and help.
People also need external signs of their success. Build and arrange numerous beautification elements of your city, and make sure everyone is rewarded for their hard work.