Never Alone

I just polished off Never Alone on Steam. Spoiler-free review: I think it’s a game with a good heart (nice educational bits about the Iñupiaq and their culture), but overall frustratingly clunky controls combined with way-too-easy puzzles (think Brothers, but with even less focus on using the environment) and awkward platforming. It feels like they made one puzzle per chapter, then have it repeated ad nauseam until the next chapter starts. The story sort of gets nonsensical, and I think you’re supposed to just write it off as “this is a folk tale passed down through the generations, it’s not supposed to make a whole lot of sense” but especially towards the end, it just feels like a string of nonsequiturs.

Also, I don’t know if it was just for me or what, but there were a ton of bugs when playing. First the LAV filters didn’t automatically install with the game, so every time I tried to view a Cultural Insight video, the game would crash. I had to Google to figure out what was happening. During the game, more than once I’d be stuck on a “puzzle,” only to restart the level and realize that the tree I had been standing on was SUPPOSED to be walking forward, but had bugged out. Or I’d jump to a branch and get awkwardly stuck inside of the environment. I am playing on PC, I know dealing with bugs is my comeuppance for not playing on a console, but COME ON.

And now, spoilers.

Continue reading