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‘Nishan Shaman’ is a Free Rhythm Game Based in Ancient Chinese Folklore, Coming Next Week

I love when games are based on real-life history, and that’s the case with the upcoming Nishan Shaman from Tencent Games and NEXT Studio. It’s a rhythm game based on The Tale of the Nishan Shaman, “the one great surviving text of Manchu literature, where a female shaman resurrects the son of a rich landowner." The visuals in Nishan Shaman are really neat, and are described as “a traditional paper cutting art style." And of course with this being a rhythm game, the music should be good as well, and it is, featuring “five background folk music tracks created by a student from Shanghai Conservatory of Music." The goal of the game is to tap your drum to the beat in order to fight off the demons of the underworld, where the Shaman has travelled in order to rescue the boy. You can see it all in action in the following trailer.

So as cool as this all is, what’s really neat about Nishan Shaman is that it’s the product of six graduates from Tencent’s Project Keplar program, which is “a special training program for Tencent Games’ graduates and is aimed at enhancing their understanding, R&D and creativity of the game design." The team wanted to make Nishan Shaman as a way to bring more awareness to Chinese folklore which isn’t often used in games. In a way it reminds me of Ayo: A Rain Tale ($2.99), which was a game based on the very real issue of the scarcity of water in sub-Saharan Africa, and followed a mother as she went on a dangerous journey to gather water for her family. While one is based on reality and another based on folklore, both games introduce players to a culture they might not be aware of and respect that culture in an authentic way, which I think is great. Nishan Shaman will be out July 19th totally for free, and if you’re on iOS 11 you can click this link to pre-order the game right now.