Wao Kanaka is a first-person, exploration and puzzle game. The gameplay is based on Kānaka Maoli stories and knowledge, and focuses in particular on the central concept of aloha ‘aina (“love of the land”) as a guide for shaping both narrative and gameplay. The game is set in contemporary Hawai‘i, yet is directly linked to past and future Kānaka Maoli relationalities to Hawaiian lands and waters.
You have always listened to the captivating stories that your Tūtū (grandmother) has told, but you know that this story isn’t like other others she has told before. Humanity is forgetting our responsibility to uphold aloha ‘aina to ensure the health and safety of our future generations. As you grow older, Tūtū leaves Wao Kanaka and now you must explore the world to learn from the mo‘olelo told by members of your community to rewrite Tūtū’s story of the future. You then use the knowledge entrusted to you to irrigate the lo‘i kalo (taro fields), fish sustainably at the loko i‘a (fish pond), and practice your ‘oli (chanting) from the newspaper. Only once you have listened to the teachings of your community and put them into practice will your dream for the future be revealed.