Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life is a casual computer game where the player has to manage an island and its inhabitants. In this game, the once-rich Isola Island has deteriorated. Many animals are now disappearing and the plants are slowly dying. Soon, there will be no food for the villagers. Because of this, the island’s chief wants the villagers to search for land that has resources they can tap. Doing this, according to the chief, is the only way to solve the problem.
In Virtual Villagers 4: The Tree of Life, the user starts by selecting the villagers deemed ideal for the tribe and the tasks required. The selection includes men, children, and women with different ages. Each villager has his or her own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to the game's skill types. These skills are building, healing, parenting, farming, and research. The general rule is that older characters have greater expertise in the skills. The resulting selection typically includes a mixture of young, old, and a child. The child villager is the only one with the capability of finding treasures. After that, the user can then start exploring. In the new settlement, the player can start dividing the tasks among the villagers. There are day and night cycles, with various activities best done at different time of the day.