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