Summary: Never Alone has critics disagreeing: on the one hand, it has technical and design issues along with a short length. But on the other, its art style, story and tribute to the Inupiaq culture elevate it to being more than a mediocre game.
Top Critic Average
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
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.
Upper One Games succeeds at bringing Native Alaskan cultural heritage to the fore, but fails at making a good platformer.
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.
[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.
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.