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
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.