A cultured experience as deep as the tundra snow
Judging games as experiences and as art makes this hobby of reviewing games very difficult sometimes. How do you put a letter value on a title like Never Alone? It vows to be more than just a game, instead offering an experience to the player. As a game, it's over all too quickly, but as an experience, it offers a rare glimpse into the world of a Native Alaskan people, rich with storytelling, history, and unique customs.
Never Alone has you under the control of two characters-- a young girl from a small arctic village who marches through the frozen tundra, inside wintry forests, and even the innards of a whale is the first. The second is a playful and watchful white fox who joins the girl's journey to discover the root of a relentless blizzard that threatens the lives of the girl's village.
|Forget diamonds. This friendly white fox is a girl's best friend.|
That said, even with the multitude of deaths that you will most likely receive while playing Never Alone, the game never feels too cheap or too challenging. Death isn't a big punishment, as the number of checkpoints available to you is immense. You'll seldom die and have to do a large portion of an area over again, and that's fantastic because dying because of the AI and having to start far earlier in the game would make Never Alone a definite "no" on the purchase list.
|In exchange for a drum, this gentleman gives you the Bola.|
|Death seldom gives you much in the form of punishment;|
maybe a loss of five or ten seconds?
|This polar bear sure isn't as friendly as the ones|
from the Coca-Cola ads!
Still, Never Alone is but a two-to-three hour game with not much replay value to it, and it is priced at $14.99. As an experience, it is highly rewarding and worth going through at least once. As a game, Never Alone presents clever puzzle and platforming design that teaches multiple concepts and builds upon them. However, it's over so quickly that there are far better ways to spend $15 on the Wii U eShop, great experience or no.
[SPC Says: C]
Review copy provided by Upper One Games.