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Mulaka Is An Adventure Game That Explores Mexican Mythology

Mulaka is a third-person action adventure game based on Mexican mythology. In between platforming, melee combat, and puzzles, illustrations give a peek into the indigenous culture of Mexico.

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Mulaka is made by Mexican studio Lienzo in collaboration with anthropologists and actual Tarahumara leaders. The Tarahumara are an indigenous people of Northwestern Mexico who are renowned for their long-distance running. You play as a Tarahumaran shaman on a quest to gain the blessings of demigods to fight Terégori, the lord of the underworld, who seeks to annihilate everything. Mulaka is definitely inspired by the early 3D Zelda titles, with upgradeable abilities and character designs. You jump across platforms, upgrade abilities to blow up walls, fight a giant scorpion and solve basic puzzles to unlock new areas.

Mulaka has its moments, but it can be frustrating. Movement is floaty, and combat is stiff. It’s a real bummer because the gorgeous illustrated cutscenes and adorable character designs highlight what make the culture so beautiful. I’m only a few hours in, but I’m curious to see if the rest of the game improves. It’s great to see a game explore Mexican mythology and, despite its flaws, I hope to see more games like Mulaka down the road.

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Mulaka is available now on PlayStation 4, Switch, and PC. It will be available for Xbox One on March 2nd.

Video Producer, Kotaku. Fluent in Spanglish. Tetris Master. Streamer. Host of The Optional Podcast.

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DISCUSSION

Thanks for the heads up! I love games like this which are made by members of a non-Western culture, or at least in extremely close cooperation - so it’s not just the usual recycled Western tropes.

They usually all have some regrettable mechanics and some lack of polish, but you can see they were trying hard with limited resources and the experience makes it worthwhile.

  • Never Alone - Iñupiat (Inuit) - It looks great, though it has some mechanical issues. Comes with tons of educational material.
  • Papo y Yo - Brazilian - Some severe lack of polish, but still worth it. Some beautiful moments.
  • Engare - Extremely focused on Islamic geometric designs (but it’s so focused that it’s very polished). Lovely spirograph toolbox.
  • Savior - Cuban - Sadly not out yet
  • White Day - Korean - unfortunately, this horror game is so janky it’ll be intolerable for some people.
  • All sorts of weird Japanese games, but I think most people know these and they’re hardly underrepresented. A lot of Chinese culture through these too.

I’ll give this one a shot too - I see it’s already up on Steam .