Mandinga: A Tale of Banzo – an RPG about slavery in historical Brazil

Mandinga: A Tale of Banzo is a Brazilian RPG that deals with slavery, cultural differences, and freedom. Devs Uruca Game Studio tell us more.

Mandinga: A Tale of Banzo is a Japanese-style RPG about two Africans in the Empire of Brazil, are dealing with slavery, cultural differences and the fight for their freedom. Brazilian history and traditions are very rich, and yet, mostly unexplored in video games. Mandinga: A Tale of Banzo presents itself as an opportunity to tell a story set in the historical Empire of Brazil.

The game tells the story of two Africans brought to Brazil to work as slaves at a sugar plantation. Many people are not aware that black people in slavery weren’t all the same, and that they possessed different cultural and religious backgrounds from one-another.

These differences meant that some such black slaves received special treatment from white slavers. While they were all forced to work nonetheless, those capable of reading, doing math, or having another valuable ability were sometimes allowed certain advantages and/or special treatment.

These were known as “Negros de Ganho”, slaves who usually worked with some form of commerce, making small earnings that some would use, after a long time, to purchase their freedom.

Mandinga game screenshot

Akil, a Mandinga, is an intellectual Muslim with diversified knowledge. The owner of the sugar farm, Gaspar, has tasked Akil with selling vegetables the production of which is not used to feed those in the farm in Salvador. Akil also has a small private shack for himself.

Obadelê, a Yoruba, is a strong capoeira warrior. With a well built body, Obadelê’s physical strength is put to work on the plantation, where he labors more than 12 hours a day under the sun, without rest. He lives together with other Africans in the same situation, in the senzala (slave quarters).

Mandinga indie game screenshot

One day the fates of both men end up intertwined and they see themselves having to join forces in order to escape and hopefully reach the Vulture’s Quilombo, a place where others, running from slavery, are able to find safety and fight to keep their freedom.

Rolling Dice to Win Battles

In Mandinga: A Tale of Banzo, battles are played in turns, just like classic JRPGs on the SNES and Megadrive consoles. The twist is that you use dice to attack, defend, and use skills.

Equipment items, such as weapons, armor and accessories, and also abilities unlocked by level progression, grant the character die that they can use on their roll. The maximum number each character can roll, in a single turn, is five. The player can build up to five dice groups, which they can change in battle, leading to different possibilities and strategies according to the situation at hand.


Some of the characters’ skills have a special effect called affinity. This effect is activated when two die show their intended ability one after the other. When this happens the skills are combined, causing a unique special action. For this reason it is important to correctly organize the dice groups so you can benefit the most from the affinities.

Mandinga: A tale of Banzo is a historical adventure filled with elements from Imperial Brazil, where the player can join the saga of two enslaved Africans fighting to stay alive and understand each others’ differences so they both can be free.

The game will be released on September 17th on Steam. Check out the Steam page here, and for more information, check out Uruca Game Studio’s website here.

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This Article was written by: Harry Cole

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