With the massive amount of games at our disposal these days, we always are able to find something interesting in both the AAA and indie space. Even if the genre is relatively safe, other design aspects can make the game stand out, as is the case with Never Alone. While 2D puzzle platformers are far from rare nowadays, Never Alone does something truly special that has me interested.
Never Alone (also known as Kisima Ingitchuna in the Iñupiaq language) combines traditional Alaskan Native folklore, stories, settings, and characters that has been handed down over many generations. You play as a young Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and an Arctic fox. With these characters, Never Alone will feature single and 2-player modes and will consist of 8 chapters, ranging in a variety of settings like treacherous ice flows, Arctic tundra, ice caves, boreal forests, and cliff-built coastal villages.
Never Alone features themes drawn directly from Iñupiat and other Alaska Native cultures in the form of striking visuals that emphasizes the perspective of these indigenous Arctic people. The gameplay style will also require players to work cooperatively to progress through these challenging and harsh environments.
One of the most interesting things about this project is the collaboration between publisher E-Line Media and the indigenous developers at Upper One Games. This collaboration will help to make sure that the story stays true to its roots, respecting the heritage of the Iñupiaq people.
As alluded to before, Never Alone’s story, settings, and characters are also inspired by traditional Iñupiaq folklore, including the story of Kunuuksaayuka that has been passed down among the Iñupiaq people for generations. These will include encounters with traditional folklore characters like Manslayer, Blizzard Man, Sky People, the Little People, and the Rolling Heads.
It is the hope of Upper One Games and E-Line Media that Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) will pass on these stories to a whole new group of people, both older and younger. Considering how much of an effort is being conveyed through its design, I can’t wait to get my hands on this.
Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) will be digitally released November 18th on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for $14.99.