Wahine Māori warrior game to be released

By Jessica Tyson

A new app game called Guardian is about to launch and the main character is a wahine Māori warrior.

The game features three episodes and tells the story of Māia, a guardian who must save her people.

Game designer Maru Nihoniho said she created Guardian to highlight Māori and New Zealand in an interactive way.  

“I had the original idea 15 years ago.  It has changed slightly over time as technology has changed but essentially it's the same story but on a different target platform,” she says.

“Originally it was designed as a 3D adventure for platforms like Playstation but those type of games are really expensive.  Since the mobile market came along I decided to take smaller steps and develop the story further and release that as an app.”

The story begins outside a traditional Māori settlement in Fiordland and takes the player through a series of challenges including combat, character interaction and the unraveling of a mystery.

“It's a heroes’ journey but told in a very unique way.  Interactive fiction is basically like reading and interacting with a story, you get to make choices for the character and depending on the choices you make depends on the outcome you get at the end of the story.  Guardian features not only the story but illustrations of the characters as well.”

Other characters in the game include the antagonist, Moko.

Nihoniho aims to release the first episode by the end of this month in the App Store and Google Play. Episode two is still in the works and will be released three months after episode one.