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    Never Alone: Left out in the cold…

    Educational games don’t all have to be awful. Never Alone is such a title, and it teaches the player about a native Alaskan tribe called the Iñupiat. In fact, it was developed by member of this tribe, and provides the player with an interesting, deep and often heart-felt view of this fascinating culture a culture that has thrived in some of the harshest conditions on the planet. The videos range from looks at traditional art through to important aspects in the Iñupiat way of life and, quite honestly, I found them fascinating. Rather than hiding them away in the menu system, Never Alone prompts the player to watch the videos as soon as they are unlocked, and these well-produced titbits are one of the highlights of the title.


    In fact, they are what kept me going for the length of the game, partly because they are rather interesting and partly because the game is a little weak. It’s a by-the-book platformer than never really goes out to challenge the player further than having to deal with an often idiotic AI partner. Trust me, co-op is the way to go here if you want to keep your head hair.

    Aside from a brilliantly aesthetic and the engaging videos, Never Alone doesn’t do too much to impress. The Iñupiat culture infuses the entire game, which is great, but it never goes beyond being undemanding in its platforming approach. Most of its challenges fall into the realm of obvious, and the player will have little difficulty traversing the ice-bound world as they help the hero, Nuna, find out why her village is plagued by devastating blizzards.

    Still, there is interest here, particularly if learning about other cultures is your thing. But that’s likely the only reason you may want to play Never Alone.

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