I like the lovable characters within the recreation. | Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge

Google’s Arts & Culture division has launched a charming new educational game all about historical Mesoamerica. The recreation, The Descent of the Serpent, is accessible to play proper now in your browser or through the Google Arts & Culture iOS and Android apps.

There’s a lightweight plot to Descent of the Serpent, proven in a brief video that performs initially of the sport. While exploring a museum, a big artifact is stolen by Tezcatlipoca, the Lord of the Smoking Mirror, and a residing statue asks to your assist to get better 20 icons included on the artifact to stop floods from taking on the world. You, naturally, agree, and the statue says they’ll ship you again in time to historical Mesoamerica.

You’ll be capable to choose from one among 4 cute animal “disguises” to your characters that each one have roots in Mesoamerican tradition. I picked Huitzilopochtli, represented by the wolf, however it’s also possible to play as Xolotl (the canine), Xbalanque (the jaguar), and Mictlantecuhtli (the owl).

The four playable characters in Google’s Descent of the Serpent. A cartoon character is in a disguise of each animal — a wolf, a dog, a jaguar, and an owl.
Screenshot by Jay Peters / The Verge
It’s powerful to select which is the perfect one, but it surely’s undoubtedly the wolf.

The recreation, which was made in partnership with Mexico’s National Museum of Anthropology, performs type of like a simplified top-down The Legend of Zelda title. You’ll roam lush (although small) environments to gather the lacking icons, which present up as gold cash. When you choose up one of many icons, the sport will current a bit of little bit of historical past about what it’s and level you to an exhibit on the Google Arts & Culture website if you wish to study extra.

While exploring the world in Descent of the Serpent, you’ll additionally must dodge easy obstacles like roaming crocodiles and monkeys throwing issues at you. On the sport’s simpler problem, getting hit simply stuns you for a short time. But on the “challenge” mode, you’re on a timer and get despatched again to the start of the extent after taking 5 hits, so that you’ll must watch out. I’d suggest most individuals simply follow the usual problem — I don’t know if it is a recreation that’s significantly better by being any harder.

Descent of the Serpent is simply the most recent instructional internet expertise from Google’s Arts & Culture group, which has already made issues like a collaborative jigsaw puzzle app and the awe-inspiring blob opera. And Descent of the Serpent can also be a part of a development of video games getting used to show historical past, like Ubisoft’s educational versions of Assassin’s Creed and Take Two’s CivilizationEDU.

I’m solely partway by means of The Descent of the Serpent, however I very effectively might end the sport by myself someday quickly. It’s been a enjoyable solution to study extra a couple of tradition I’m not very accustomed to, and I actually need to spend some extra time with my wolf buddy. After I’m carried out, I may need to play a round of Google’s pétanque — or make a track with the blob opera.

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