Parents need to know that "Mulaka" is an action/adventure game available for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PC. The game is heavily based on the lore and culture of the Native American Tarahumara tribe in Mexico. As an action/adventure game, there's a lot of combat throughout. While there's some minor blood shown, the violence is more flash and style than blood and gore. The game also goes beyond constant combat, testing players with a number of puzzles that require problem solving and critical thinking skills versus quick reflexes.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
The story of "Mulaka" is about a Sukuruame or "child of the stars," a shaman of the Tarahumara tribe. When the Lord of the Underworld begins to corrupt the land, the fate of the world lies in the balance. Determined to drive back the corruption, Mulaka sets out on a quest to earn the blessings of the animal demigods, who in turn grant him their power and their form as he battles against forces of darkness. Players must face off against creatures pulled from tribal mythology, such as the gigantic Ganoko, the soul-eating Rusiwari, and the fire-spitting Sipabuara, while also using the ability to shapeshift to solve environmental puzzles inspired by real Sierra Tarahumara locations.
IS IT ANY GOOD?
Never miss a local story.
Anyone with a thirst of adventure and a hunger for story can find more than their fill by taking a closer look at the mythology and lore found in this game. Inspired by the lore from the Tarahumara tribe, the game faithfully brings to life the wonder of tales passed down for generations. The characters and entities have a natural feel because they have been developed and refined for centuries.
As rich as the story's origins might be, the simple truth is that none of it would matter if the actual game wasn't fun to play. Thankfully, that's not an issue here. The game has a simplified, artistic look that flows while in motion. The controls are simple but effective. Combat and motion tie together well, allowing a range of movements to best dodge enemies and get in position to attack their weak spots. The controls also work nicely for the more platform elements of the game, though admittedly, the camera can sometimes make it difficult to gauge certain jumps or navigate some obstacles. It's not enough to take away from the experience by any means, but it can cause the occasional frustration. But any time you transform into a bird and fly over a village, or into a bear charging through the woods, those frustrations quickly fade.
RATING AND CONTENT
Recommended for ages 14 and older
Quality: 5 out of 5
Educational value: 3 out of 5
Positive messages: 3 out of 5
Positive role models: 3 out of 5
Ease of play: 3 out of 5
Violence: 3 out of 5
Sex: 0 out of 5
Language: 0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 0 out of 5
Consumerism: 0 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)
Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Windows, Xbox One
Release date: February 27, 2018
ESRB rating: T for blood, violence
Common Sense Media is an independent nonprofit organization offering unbiased ratings and trusted advice to help families make smart media and technology choices. Check out our ratings and recommendations at www.commonsense.org.