LadiesGamers Never Alone

Never Alone: Arctic Collection Review 

Game: Never Alone: Arctic Collection
Genre: Adventure, Action, Puzzle, Platformer
System: Nintendo Switch (Also on Steam (Windows) and PS3, PS4, Xbox, Wii U, iOS & Android)
Developer|Publisher: E-Line Media
Age Rating: EU 7+ | US Everyone
Price: US $14.99 | UK £13.49 | EU € 14,99
Release Date: February 24th, 2022

Review code provided with many thanks to Gametomb

If It Exists There’s a Switch Port

Never Alone is a casual 2D puzzle platformer that is based on native Alaskan storytelling. The game has been released on several systems since its initial launch in 2014. But as we know, if a game exists, there has to be a Nintendo Switch version. Never Alone may have familiar gameplay but stands out thanks to its presentation and how well it weaves in Native Alaskan culture into the game’s narrative. Even years later Never Alone feels unique and well worth the player’s time if you want to enjoy a simple adventure and learn something new. 

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It’s dangerous to go alone, bring a fox

Follow The Breeze

Playing as a young native girl Nuna you decide to set off on an adventure to discover the source of a sudden blizzard which has covered the village preventing the residents from hunting. After a daring escape from a polar bear you team up with an arctic fox who then joins you on your quest. It’s a nice tale brought to life by its narrator who voice acts in the native language with unique cutscenes which display artwork from the culture.

The game does an excellent job educating you about the native culture with short documentary-style snippets. These can usually be accessed during load screens between the chapters but you can choose to focus on the game and view them later. Most of these unlock with natural game progression but some unlock by finding owls hidden in the levels. As someone that loves folklore I really got a kick out of learning more about the inspiration behind this title. 

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Enjoy some unique artwork in the cutscenes

Casual Adventure

The gameplay is simple to pick up and play for gamers of all skill levels. You can instantly switch between the two characters, each having their own abilities. Nuna can push and pull objects and use a sling shot to break objects. The fox can scurry up walls and also interact with spirits which provide platforms to help you progress. This is not a hard game, puzzles and platform segments are not too taxing on the player. If you get a bit stuck the game gives you some hints to point you in the right direction. Even if you do fail you instantly restart at a nearby checkpoint. This is a game designed for you to comfortably see to its conclusion.

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Row row row your boat

Cold and Calming

The graphics are appropriately cold and chilly as you would expect for an arctic adventure. Stand out features are the arctic breeze as it blows on your characters as they struggle against it. There is also a unique chapter that makes reference to the northern lights. The soundtrack is quite captivating. A relaxed score that suits the game’s setting but may also make for good meditative music which you can chill out to after a hot and stressful work day.

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Maybe it wasn’t a good idea to visit the Northern Lights

Better Together

The Nintendo Switch version of the game doesn’t particularly offer any extras compared to other released versions. You have a complete adventure as well as the DLC Fox Tales which offers a short additional story to follow. The game runs well but I was kinda surprised to see the odd glitch when playing in single player. On a few occasions, my AI companion would just get stuck or have a nasty habit of running into danger. The game is absolutely playable in single-player, but, you’ll get the most enjoyment playing it with a loved one in a local co-op. 

You’re looking at no more than five hours of content in total including the DLC. There is very little incentive to replay unless you missed unlocking some of the documentary snippets. However, this is an Arctic adventure that’s nothing like you’ve played before.

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Learn more in the documentary snippets

Conclusion- Embrace the Cold

Never Alone is a welcome addition to the Nintendo Switch library. A casual platformer that I highly recommend playing through in co-op with a loved one. You’ll laugh at the odd glitch, possibly cry at the emotional moments but also learn a lot about Alaskan native culture. If somehow you have yet to play this game, this is a great time to jump on. It’s a cold adventure but the warm fuzzy feelings will leave an impact for years to come. 

Final verdict I Like it a Lot

I like it a lot

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