Mexico has a rich cultural history ripe for storytelling. Developed by relative newcomer Lienzo, Mulaka focuses on the Tarahumara (or Rarámuri) tribe in Northern Mexico. Players assume the role of a Sukurúame and explore gorgeously stylized environments in a mythological quest.
Fun in Folklore
On their website, Lienzo’s mission statement is as follows: “We create experiences that are up to the quality standard of this creative international industry. In short, our goal is to make awesome games. We make video games for gamers!”
Lienzo’s work on Mulaka involved a copious amount of research. They consulted with cultural experts and Tarahumara tribe leaders in order to create a game that stayed true to its source. “Creating Mulaka was a no-brainer,” explained Adolfo Aguirre, Lienzo’s PR and Publicist. “These people have some really fantastic legends that belong 100% to an action game.”
That much is clear from watching. Mulaka doesn’t sacrifice presentation for gameplay. Rather, much like The Legend of Zelda, the two work in conjunction with each other. Sprawling landscapes of shapes and colors sweep past the player, while hulking beasts swing at them with stylishly simple geometry. Orchestral arrangements featuring indigenous instruments proudly notify the player of a successfully solved puzzle.
Mulaka is, first and foremost, a game. But instead of drawing upon some fantasy world with a waifish blonde-haired elf, it takes from our own. Every culture has a story to tell, and Mulaka has given voice to the Tarahumara’s.
Mulaka is now available on PC and PS4, with Nintendo Switch and XBox One releases set for a later date.