- System: Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC, Xbox One
- Publisher: Lienzo
- Developer: Lienzo
- Release Date: February 27, 2018
- Pricing: $19.99
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: 3D Platformer, Action, Adventure, Indie
- Players: Single Player
- Official Website: https://www.lienzo.mx/mulaka/
Who it Caters to
If you are interested in culture, indigenous people, traditions, and adventure-platformer titles, hang tight. Mulaka may be the game for you. We here at Honey’s Anime have been blessed enough to receive a copy and we want to share with you our thoughts on this new indie title available on all major consoles.
What to Expect
Mulaka is based on a very real tribe of people, the Tarahumara, who were known to be skilled warriors, even going so far as to clash with the Jesuits for 100 years before they could both settle. While the times are becoming more modern, the Tarahumara still hold onto old traditions and many old ways to this day. These are the people we will be encountered in the world of Mulaka.
Many of the traits of the Tarahumara can be seen in Mulaka from the fast running skills that you will need to play the game to the fierce hand-to-hand combat you will engage in against those who threaten your life. Anthropologists and Tarahumara leaders were referenced in order to create a game that truly captured the essence of Mexico and the Tarahumara culture. The traditional instruments of the Tarahumara were used to create a soundtrack with the authentic sounds of the Tarahumara people.
Mulaka Launch Trailer
Despite this emphasis on the culture and folklore of the Tarahumara, Mulaka is lacking in plot. The opening sequence explains the legends and myths of the Tarahumara, but this doesn’t really give us a direction in terms of gameplay. We are vaguely aware that we are supposed to do something to deal with the evil in the game, but not much else is explained in detail. Even learning about the major aspects to the game feel very vague and minute. Someone tells us that to get past a barrier, we have to collect 3 gems and suddenly, that’s the major element to the gameplay. This felt a little bit too subtle of a point.
Mulaka contains about 7 “levels” with each level requiring that you find 3 gems in order to proceed. You will come across enemies along the way and when a new one comes around, you will receive a notice and can look up information about that enemy, which is actually pretty interesting to read about. At some points in the game, you’ll find yourself in a sort of “locked room” where you are unable to get out and have to fight a handful of enemies in order to escape. This starts off rather simple at first but becomes more complicated as the enemies become more numerous and harder to fight, making the space appear smaller and giving you difficulty when you need to take a healing potion.
Unfortunately, this same point also directs us to the overall fighting mechanic in the game. It is not so easy as to allow you to button mash and succeed. You actually need to know how to fight, which is a good thing, but some enemies are harder requiring you to take them out with a spear through while they are attacking you. Somehow, you have to aim your spear just right to get them out of the air. This can be frustrating if there are other enemies attacking you. Just imagine if you got locked in those locked room battles.
Speaking of Sukuruame vision, it is a highly useful ability that lets you see what direction and how far an objective is, although it may be vague about what the objective is. Usually it’s a gem, but sometimes it’s an artifact. You can also use this ability to see the hp that an enemy has left, which may or may not be useful for the smaller enemies. The only issue with this power, and all powers, is that there is a limit to how much magical power you can use. Once you deplete the bar, the vision stops. This becomes a bit less troublesome later as you upgrade, but it is still quite annoying, especially at the beginning, to only hold the power for about half a minute. Also, utilizing the Sukuruame vision to find something can be somewhat helpful as it is in many open world games, but as you get closer to an objective, it becomes more and more vague about what you have to do to get there.
With that being said, there were a lot of aspects that appeared to be fun at first, but then quickly descended past the line of annoying. You play a Sukuruame, a shaman, so of course we understand that you will perform tribal dances. This was intriguing when you had to get down to pray at a shrine in order to save, which doesn’t occur that often. However, if you have to perform this 5-10 second dance each time you heal, which leaves you vulnerable to attack, especially if you find yourself in one of those “locked room” battles. There’s just no time to heal. This makes really difficult boss battles and those locked room battles really difficult for the most part.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- A lot of thought was put into each aspect of the game ensuring that this title was rich in culture and folklore
- The soundtrack is very different and full of sounds of the indigenous people
- The premise of the game is one of our favorites for being innovative and rather educational
- No real direction in the game
- Invisible wall effect everywhere
- Lacking in content
- Simplistic overall gameplay
Honey's Final Verdict:
If you are interested in Mulaka or have thoughts of your own about the game, please feel free to share them with us. And let’s not forget, join us again for more thoughts and recommendations here at Honey’s Anime.