No matter what culture you come from, your stories are a crucial part of your history. It’s the urban legends that haunt your society. The mythological tales that are handed down from generation to generation. It’s the annals of your family members. Our history defines us, and Mulaka definitely takes history to heart.
Mulaka is inspired by the legends of the Tarahumara, an indigenous tribe in northwestern Mexico. Their way of life today is based on how their ancestors lived.
In the 3D action adventure game, you are Sukurúame, a shaman who is on a quest to honour several deities in order to gain their support in destroying an ancient evil. An evil that wishes to scorch the Earth and reshape things in its own image. This would be a very, very bad thing.
Armed with his trusty spear, Sukurúame solves puzzles, unlocks special beast powers and battles enemies. He takes down bosses on his way to cleanse the land of evil. The landscape itself is a desert surrounded by hills and mountains. Within lies all sorts of enemies and allies who will offer you advice and assistance.
Mulaka unabashedly borrows from such iconic games as The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. However, you cannot lock onto enemies. That alone might be enough to turn away some gamers. Not being able to do so makes the combat more aggravating and difficult than it should be. It is also hard to make precise jumps and landings as the controls are floaty, awkward and imprecise. Hopefully this is something the developers will patch in the future.
Art and Style
Mulaka’s arresting graphical style is of a minimalist nature and is reminiscent of Indigenous artwork. Because of this, the tone and atmosphere of the game feel genuine. Although the art isn’t intricately detailed, the colour palate is bright and lively. This couples with a powerful soundtrack, which reall adds to the game’s sense of cultural authenticity.
From the music to the artwork and the stories that are told, developer Lienzo has clearly done their homework. As a result, the whole game draws from the vast knowledge and experience of anthropologists and Tarahumara leaders themselves. Mulaka is not just a game. It is an admirable and respectful tribute to the Tarahumara people, their history and their culture. All in all, if you can ignore Mulaka’s shortcomings a distinctive adventure awaits you.
- THE GOOD
- A faithful depiction of Tarahumara culture.
- The graphics and music add to the authentic atmosphere.
- Fun boss battles.
- Fascinating myths and legends.
- THE BAD
- The game itself is quite short.
- Cannot target or lock on to enemies
- Unpolished jumping controls.