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Games : Recommended
Release Date: November 18th, 2014 Movie Release Year: 2014

Never Alone

Overview -

'Never Alone' ('Kisima Ingitchuna') is a puzzle platformer released by newer studio E-Line Media. It has the distinction of being probably the first game ever about the Iñupiat, a dwindling indigenous Alaskan population. The plot is straight from the oral history of the Iñupiat and told in real time by one of their storytellers. During development, E-Line worked closely with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a non-profit that assists with the preservation of the culture of the Iñupiat and other Alaskan tribes, collectively referred to as "The People".

Rating Breakdown
Tech Specs & Release Details
Release Date:
November 18th, 2014

Video Review


The art design reflects the harsh Alaskan wilderness. Everything is white - even in darkness, the snow is impossible to ignore. A woolly black vignette fills the edges of the screen, possibly to represent a heavy hood obscuring peripheral vision. The camera is a problem. It frequently doesn’t zoom out far enough when the characters need to separate, making it more difficult to solve puzzles. Outside of the actual gameplay the video is wonderful, such as the clear, high-def documentary videos and the animated scrimshaw storyboards.

Audio Review


The narrator frequently steals the show. All of his lines are in his native language and are therefore subtitled, but even in a different language, it is clear that this is a story he has been telling for a long time. The music is all Iñupiat and is heavy on the drums. During the darker sections, the sound of the wind and wildlife helped to immerse me in the feeling of isolation that defines the tundra.

Never Alone Review

Final Thoughts

'Never Alone' is a beautiful experience. Its somber story is masterfully expressed, but not by its gameplay. As a platformer it is subpar, and yet I am still telling people to play it. Despite its tiny length and substantial flaws, it has a soul, something that is sorely lacking in many of the games we play.