review
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POSTED 18/11/14


NEVER ALONE

E-Line Media



A lass can’t do it all on her own...

Never Alone is a platform/puzzler with a point of difference. Rather than having all the story-time depth of a Redfoo lyric, it’s based upon native Alaskan folklore. As such it’s narrated in Iñupiaq – accompanied by English subtitles. The tale tells of relentless wintry blizzards which threaten a young girl’s village, and of that young girl’s bravery in facing most every extreme weather obstacle you could think of in order to save her kin.

Single players will flit between controlling the young girl, Nuna, and an arctic fox with supernatural, platform-conjuring abilities. Co-op’s a better option, as the AI can be flaky.

If you’re after a comparison, and that’s what people generally want, then think Limbo – but mostly light rather than mostly dark. By the time you complete the relatively short journey of around three hours, you’ll also experience tinges of Okami, Ico and even Shadow of the Colossus.

Never Alone may be brief, but it packs some engaging puzzles, plus one heck of an emotional wallop. The first time either Nuna or your fox dies, anybody with a soul will be distraught. Mind you, the 100th time it happens, you’ll likely just be cursing mistiming that split-second jump...

The traditional tale doesn’t stop at being a handy game plot, either. As it’s a game, Never Alone features collectibles, in the form of owls that you’ll encounter naturally, or sneakily hidden off to a side. These unlock videos featuring bite-sized but fascinating historical insights. Then there’s the amazing traditional art that illustrates story progression. Then there are the utterly stunning in-game graphics.

It may be brief, and it may revisit classic game ground, but Never Alone has started something we hope it doesn’t finish – an opportunity to encounter fascinating indigenous histories that we’d otherwise not be exposed to.

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2017. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.