South African independent game developer Celestial Games has today announced the team’s next title, Muti: The Game, a first-person horror experience set in Africa using the backdrop of African legends and mysticism to bring the game world to vibrant, eerie life.
What is Muti: The Game All About?
Acting as a polar opposite to Toxic Bunny HD from Celestial Games, Muti: The Game explores “the oldest and most supernatural dark magics of Africa,” and notably stars a female lead protagonist, Zola, who is trying to find her brother who has mysteriously disappeared.
On her journey, Zola will work with a newly-formed South African crime unit dealing with matters of the supernatural to search through the townships and suburbs of northern Johannesburg while surviving her own investigation of an ancient cult.
“[Zola] must summon all her courage, finding both her faith and her beliefs tested, as she reaches further into the darkness of her tormented past and deeper into a forgotten world that frightens her most,” writes Celestial. “She must survive the corruption and the temptation of a dark African secret, to find her brother and save herself.”
What is Traditional Muti?
Where does Celestial’s game get its name from? According to Wikipedia’s description, ‘muti’ is the term for traditional medicine in southern Africa, and has both powerful and severely negative cultural connotations attached to it. Traditionally, ‘muti’ could be equated to traditional plant- and animal-based medicines known in other cultures around the world.
In South Africa in particular, however, ‘muti’ has come to be associated with witchcraft and the cause of a spate of murders and mutilations in the country, where specific human body parts are used in the creation of traditional medicines.
With this in mind, the story of Celestial’s game makes the need for Zola to find her brother all the more urgent!
What is Muti: The Game?
Muti from Celestial Games is a survival horror game that will see our hero, Zola, partaking in a spot of puzzle solving and light action while interacting with a distinct cast of characters who will each have their own personal reactions to situations and the environment, which in turn increases the challenge and satisfaction of working through the game’s puzzles.
Specific environment cues will also help to provide hints towards solving puzzles so you’ll need to pay attention to your surroundings and special audio cues to make your way through the world alive.
The Inspiration Behind Muti: The Game
The visual and thematic feel of Muti: The Game takes healthy inspiration from a blend of different, vibrant African art styles, while striking a balance with the game’s intended dark mood and themes of horror and suspense.
Celestial says that the team will be making use of “the many hidden talents in our country both with the digital aspect of the game as well as the heavy brush strokes of the more traditional canvas work.”
“[although] Muti and especially the side of it we will be delving into is dark, the art is not,” Celestial continues. “The heaviness in the strokes and the thickness of the brush can and do at times add that indented heaviness to the mood of the artwork; the colours, however, never fail.”
In order to strike this balance between bright African art styles and a world drenched in horror, Celestial will be working with local artists who will provide assistance with the style of Muti: The Game:
“We will be working with them to enhance and capture the mood and the colour intensity that is very African,” Celestial writes. “We want this game to represent the country and the culture as creatively and honestly with the added flare from our genre.”
Show Your Support on Kickstarter!
In order to help bring the world of Muti: The Game to life, Celestial Games has taken to crowd-funding site Kickstarter so that you may pledge your support and donate towards the development of the project.
There are many pledge tiers available, most of which will net you a copy of the game once it’s released, as well as all kinds of awesome extras like artwork, an accompanying novel, postcards, wallpapers and more.
Make your way to the official Muti: The Game Kickstarter page and pledge your support of Celestial and South African game development today!
Also, don’t miss El33tonline’s exclusive interview with Celestial Games about how Toxic Bunny HD is coming to PS Vita, future plans and the challenges of distribution in South Africa.