Never Alone is one of those rare gems that come by only once in a blue moon. At the heart of the game, Never Alone is an indie offering from developers Upper One Games.  It is essentially a side-scrolling platformer which uses the different abilities of two characters to traverse the harsh and hostile arctic plain and solve a number of head scratching problems along the way. Think Two Brothers on the Xbox 360 and you’re half way there.

But what helps Never Alone stand out is the fact that this is a game with a purpose. It’s aim is to educate gamers about the culture and heritage of the native Alaskan Iñupiat people.    The Iñupiat’s traditional territory spans Norton Sound on the Bering Sea to the Canadian border. Their hunter-gatherer lifestyle relies heavily on maintaining the delicate balance between man and nature. By playing through Never Alone you get to find out more about these remarkable people and their history.


Overcome obstacles and successfully solve puzzles and you’re rewarded with short video clips exploring a different aspect of the Iñupiat life. To add to Never Alone’s aura of authenticity, the game is narrated by an Iñupiat elder speaking in his native language (sub titles are provided below) and cut scenes are illustrated by wonderfully drawn traditional Iñupiat art work. This deftly executed element goes a long way in immersing you in a game that simply oozes with high production values.

The story of Never Alone follows the adventures of a little girl called Nuna who has to find out why her village has been hit by a seemingly never-ending blizzard. Along the way she is accompanied by a white fox who helps her solve many of the games puzzles.   When you first play Never Alone you will be immediately impressed by the sheer beauty of the game. Upper One Games have done a remarkable job in recreating the beauty and breath- taking wonder of the arctic landscape. And, as you work your way through the games 4 – 6 hours of challenges you really get to feel the emotional bond between Nuna and her fox companion.  never-alone-kisima-ini-536db920e3abe

At this point its worth mentioning that the puzzles in Never Alone have been created with the casual gamer in mind. By switching between characters at the right time and using a bit of the old grey matter, you should be able to solve most of the in-game conundrums without too much teeth gnashing.  We would have liked to have seen an online leader board displaying how long other players took to complete the challenges, But this is a tiny omission and one that does little to detract from the game.

Never Alone is a brilliant, beautiful and thought provoking game that is definitely worth the price of a download. It’s a game with heart and purpose. And to top it all, its great fun to play.

Highly recommended.



8 out of 10



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