Two years ago, indie developing company Lienzo Studios launched a GoFundMe page to create Mulaka – a video game about the Raramuri indigenous community – a reality. Lienzo felt short of its goal by about $60,000. But fast forward to 2017, and the game is receiving a lot of hype. In early 2018, the game will be released on the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, according to Kotaku.
The Raramuri (also know as Tarahumara) have long been famous for their legendary endurance – running long-distances barefoot for hours or even days. But even as outsiders have marveled at their running abilities, the Tarahumara live largely in isolated communities, where they remain largely ignored, and suffer endemic poverty and hunger. This has been the case for nearly a century. Through Mulaka, Lienzo intends to generate respect and awareness of the Rarámuri.
“What we want is, first and foremost, the player to have a good time,” said Edgar Serrano, co-founder of Lienzo. “If the culture grasps you and hooks you, you can go in and find out more about it. There’s not a single thing in the game that we haven’t cross-checked, and been vetted and approved by anthropologists or cultural leaders because that’s important for us.”
The gameplay follows a formula very similar to Nintendo’s Zelda series; exploring, puzzle solving and toe-to-toe battles against larger-than-life bosses. What makes this 3D, open-world quest unique is its promise to not sway from its source material. Up to 10 percent of the proceeds of the game will go back to the community that inspired the game.
Check out the gameplay below: