The rich indigenous culture of the Tarahumara is the back drop for 3D, action adventure Mulaka. Set in the western lands of Mexico, the landscapes of baron land and dusty hill tops bring a unique playing field that entices you in. Part history lesson (without the yawn), as everything featured in the game is taken from the Mexican culture of the Tarahumara, and all adventure, Mulaka sets itself up well.
You play as a shape shifter warrior that has capable hand to hand combat skills and is quick in covering vast expanses of land. He needs to draw upon the powers of the demigods and open up new areas, all in a bid to defeat an evil force that is hell bent on destroying life, ready to start over again. On route there are puzzles to solve, crystals to locate, local villagers to engage with and battles to fight. Armed with a spear and a bow and arrow that can slam enemies off their feet, you’re ready to unleash some angst. Unfortunately the bow and arrow is not the easiest of weapons to use – aiming is tricky and misses the mark frequently. You’ll need time to get your eye in. Combat on the other hand works well and plays a big part in Mulaka. It’s mainly mashed-up light and strong attacks, with the opportunity to unleash a more powerful force.
Mulaka does come with a slow pace. Upping the excitement are many different and wonderful creatures that appear throughout your journey that all come from the region’s mythology. Some are huge beasts, while others are the size of a scorpion. Mulaka mixes it up well while still being true to the games main theme. Advancing sees you capable of changing form to a creature or animal from the folk law of the time. Gliding gracefully from lush green hill tops, as a winged bird descending into a sky-blue pool of calm waters are beautifully executed. Or leaping around the terrain fast as a puma, again it’s all done well. With this added experience, Mulaka knows how to keep you on your toes. Even though these moments are brief, they are what make your journey a special, slow and magical one. And talking of magic, a special vision mode helps you view where to head and displays a way forward that the human eye can’t see.
The look, the sights and the audio all blend together and give you a believable feeling that your part of this special culture. It’s not surprising that Mulaka was designed hand in hand with Turahumara leaders. The developer, Lienzo, are even giving a proportion of their winnings from the game to the preservation of the Tarahumara. These guys mean business and must be pretty thrilled with their end journey.
Mulaka succeeds in engulfing you in a culture and a place that feels special. A bright 3D action adventure with a serious side, Mulaka is definitely one adventure to consider going on. You’ll also not find anything else like it on Nintendo Switch. Who said history lessons can’t be fun?
Lizard Rating: 7/10
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