By Albert Lucero
“Never Alone” is a unique independent video game made by Kisima Ingitchuna. This small four to six hour platform takes the player on a journey through the Alaskan wilderness.
The game revolves around a young girl named Nuna, who had drifted away from her family due to a blizzard and an artic fox, which is Nuna’s spirit animal. The player must use both the girl and fox to get pass the various puzzles and villains in each level.
Jumping mechanics do glitch within the game at some point I found myself stuck and glitches in a rock for jumping to far out of the games boarder. During areas containing water I would barely tap the water and instead of grabbing the ledge they would drown immediately.
The game does have various bugs and glitches, even involving a switch within in both characters.
Overall the mechanics had glitches, but one patch can easily improve the game. The gameplay is simple with minimal obstacles, but the levels are troubling with the puzzles and level design.
This game has some dialogue between the characters in the game, but is mostly told through the narrator.
Although it does lack in dialogue it shows the communication through the emotions and movements of the characters body and choices throughout the game.
The story is focused around an Alaskan tribe known as the Iñupiat, which throughout the entirety of the game shows the lifestyle and beliefs of these native people.
The story carries off of the people within the tribe. The description of each story that’s told by these tribe members is so in depth to their life style it almost takes away from the game.
While traveling, players will encounter various obstacles from the artic, bears, evil spirits and the Manslayer. The Manslayer is only after one item as he destroys the village and it’s the Bola, which is commonly used as a weapon to kill ducks and other small animals.
The player obtains the Bola through a physical spirit who in return just wants a drum. The drum is a symbol of the heartbeat of the community or tribe.
The Bola is used to hit targets from the manslayer and bear to icebergs and burned branches. The mechanics using the weapon is very simple and the targets are obvious.
There are plenty of good spirits controlled by the arctic fox that help guide the players to get to the higher level and move forward. The artic fox the spirit animal controls these spirits.
Traveling through all the heavy blizzards, trying to leap from one glacier to another, and even out smarting a bear to survive and piling all of this into one game with a decent story line and deep culture background to support the small indie game is very interesting and fun.
The game can be played as single or two players.