A beautiful, fascinating exploration of a world that may soon be nothing more than fantasy.
Never Alone carries the sensibilities of its inspirations, and it feels and looks just as it should.
A laudable attempt to make a video game that is both entertaining and educational, but despite the interest it builds up for its subject matter the weak gameplay is hard to ignore.
Never Alone is bursting with promise and charm, but is savagely let down by technical flaws and maddening design decisions. Not even the cutest fox in gaming can save it.
The story and information is interesting, but the gameplay is an unimpressive delivery method
Upper One Games succeeds at bringing Native Alaskan cultural heritage to the fore, but fails at making a good platformer.
While I'm in no great rush to play it again, the appreciation I gleaned for a culture I knew practically nothing about is something I really cherish. If you can patiently plod your way through the game entwined with the story of the Iñupiat people, I suspect you'll cherish them too.
Despite some occasionally frustrating difficulty spikes, Never Alone tells a fascinating, evocative tale that leaves a deep impression. A terrific platform game, despite its flaws.
Never Alone is only the first entry in an initiative by E-Line Media to create a series of world-culture games. It's an important step for a medium that's all too often stuck in its own familiar ways. Sure, Never Alone is far from perfect, but its highs are much more significant than its lows. Rarely is an experimental take flawless, and that's the case here. But, hopefully everyone involved can take what's on display with Never Alone, improve the formula next time, and continue to teach because it's a fascinating way to learn.
[A]s one Iñupiat member put it, this isn't a story about a hero, just someone honoring her commitment to her community and way of life. Addressing that idea through a largely unfamiliar fiction is a refreshing way to remind us to be thankful for what we have.
Overall Never Alone is a really good mix of ideas, and could be the start of a kind of docu-game trend, with the inclusion of the Cultural Insights. While there are a few tweaks to the gameplay that should be made, Never Alone is certainly worth your time, and manages to tell so much within the four or so hours it takes to complete. Nuna & Fox's story is wonderfully told through the native tongue of the Iñupiat, accompanied by artwork inspired by the tribe's drawings and etchings, and brought to life by the beautiful designed of the environments and characters.
Even with some hiccups when playing single-player, the attention to detail in this beautiful story all about friendship is bliss.
What E-Line Media and Upper One Games are doing is admirable. It's awesome to see the Iñupiaq people author their story in a video game like this, an opportunity that few cultures and minorities have. Their involvement is felt everywhere in Never Alone, and I just want to play more games that explore that mythology.
If you're inclined to rage-quitting or you aren't a platforming fan, Never Alone probably isn't for you. But if you're willing or able to overlook frustration—or you have a friend to ease up some of the AI issues through co-op—Never Alone is an experience worth having and sharing.
Never Alone is quite a short game, but its charm, coupled with the opportunity to explore a culture you might not know much about, makes it utterly captivating.
Never Alone is, nevertheless, an important game offering a fascinating window into a rich and ongoing culture among native Alaskans. And if you are open to accepting that cultural exchange then the barriers dividing the people of the world get a little bit smaller, and we all grow closer to never really being alone in the world again.
On occasion, gameplay feels stale due to the lack of depth and frustrates with frequent death inevitable, but the authenticity of the folklore tale coupled with a great art-style and engaging video docs takes you on a journey that actually feels refreshingly unique and certainly worth a look at its modest price point.
As a platformer, Never Alone is solid, but not exactly revolutionary. It's the cultural aspects that go hand-in-hand with this release that make it so special, then. With incredible art and audio, as well as a compelling narrative, this is an interesting indie that deserves your attention. And while there are a few niggles that prevent it from reaching its full potential, you shouldn't let them stand in the way of your opportunity to meet up with the Iñupiaq.
Never Alone tells a deeply personal story of an Inupiaq girl on an adventure to survive the elements. This is a spellbinding experience that not only introduces players to the real stories and culture so important to the native Alaskan community, but goes one step further by creating two dozen informative videos featuring interviews with tribe elders, storytellers and artists. It's a dazzling adventure that is not to be missed.