The Yucatán Peninsula is one of the world’s most unique places to live—and especially in the state itself. From Mérida to Valladolid, there are endless ways to pass the time, soaking up the local culture and traditions. Unsurprisingly, the area’s stunning tropical backdrop and multicultural history make it a top destination for travelers.
But Yucatán is also on the minds of many video game and board game developers. Not only are they interested in the region for its Mayan history and ruins, locations like Chichén Itzá and other neighboring pyramids, and its stunning beaches. Locals are used to seeing their hometowns featured as part of Hollywood-caliber stories—including in games.
Even online slots borrow from the area’s rich history. For example, titles like Cashzuma and the Tomb of Wonga, which is available via online platforms, draw on the wonder of Mayan ruins. Similarly, Rich Wilde and Book of Dead take inspiration from the thousands of adventurous archaeologists who visit the region.
But what about titles that delve a little bit deeper into Yucatán’s history and identity? Let’s explore some of the top titles that are available on the market now.
Mictlan: An Ancient Mythical Tale
Let’s kick off our list with a project that’s currently in the works. Mictlan: An Ancient Mythical Tale is set to release in 2025 from Meta Studios Creative Agency, a game developer located in Tokyo. Currently, developers are delving deep into the creative vision of Guillermo Alarcón, who conceived the project.
His goal is to create an action-adventure game that will be spoken entirely in Nahuatl, Yucatecan Maya, and Spanish. The game will cover the colonization of Mexico by Spanish conquistadors, along with the myriad of indigenous groups that they interacted with. Currently, developers are working with different groups in Mexico in order to gather accurate information on how to portray characters, settings, and storylines.
Sid Meier’s Pirates!
Next, let’s hop into the way-back machine and explore a pirate simulation from the year 1987. This project cobbles together three different pirate experiences from three centuries, from the 1500s until the 1700s. Players can choose to be a pirate, a privateer, or a pirate hunter. From there, they’ll be forced to survive as they travel from Yucatán to Florida to Bermuda—and everywhere in between.
The game proved popular enough that it was rebooted back in 2004. So, if you’re interested in trying out a fairly believable pirate simulation that includes tons of Yucatán stopovers, then consider downloading the remake.
Yucatan (Board Game)
Let’s move away from video games and take a more old-fashioned looked at gaming. The Creator of Kemet, Guillaume Montiage, is now shifting his focus to another game, Yucatan. This game takes players back to a pre-colonial era in Colombia during which time the Mayan civilization ruled.
This turn-based game challenges players to build resources, acquire fortune and luck, and attempt to appease the gods as they expand their civilization’s reach. Along the way, they’ll also learn a thing or two about real Mayan culture as it existed during its pre-colonial golden years. Keep in mind that this game involves a lot of moving pieces and strategies, which makes it better for seasoned tabletop players.
MayaQuest: The Mystery Trail
This is one of the most complex—and interesting—games to take a look at life in Yucatán. Originally, MayaQuest was a project from an anthropologist who wanted to uncover the reasons behind the Mayan civilization’s decline in the 9th century. Along the way, his team’s discoveries helped create the MayaQuestgame, which closely mirrors the US’s Oregon Trail game. In other words, it balanced education with gaming.
So, what is this project all about? First, it’s important to note that the game is in English and is designed to help educate players about Mayan culture and locations in Yucatán and Quintana Roo where they lived. Second, it also involves an action-adventure plot. Players must also race against the clock to locate pieces of code that will help them deactivate a dangerous satellite.