Review – Mulaka
The rise of independent game studios has provided gamers with a wealth of new experiences, including the ability to hear stories from perspectives that have never been represented in the past. Mulaka, created by Mexican studio Lienzo, gives us the tales of the Tarahumara – a group from northwestern Mexico known for their athletic ability, particularly their distance running.
As a Sukurúame, a Tarahumara shaman, gamers will run through expansive environments solving puzzles and fighting a variety of enemies, ranging from ordinary scorpions to flying creatures from Tarahumara mythology. The end goal in each region is to find the three stones that unlock the final gate, allowing entry to the boss fight – increasingly complex battles against an array of fantastical creatures.
The game does a good job of easy you into the gameplay, with relatively simple light/heavy attack scheme early on and easy-to-use three-hit combos. Soon enough, however, you’re also incorporating a thrown weapon attack, bombs, and the ability to turn into a couple of different creatures. Even the boss battles start out light on strategy but require a more and more strategic approach as you progress.
Mulaka sports striking style, with intense colours that pop thanks to the low-poly approach to visuals. Echoing the Tarahumara’s legendary abilities, players have access to unlimited sprinting, which highlights the only drawback to the simplistic look: it can be difficult to tell safe terrain from the deadly quicksand when running full tilt across the level.