Never Alone: Foxtales

Game review by
Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media
Never Alone: Foxtales Game Poster Image
Short, disappointing expansion adds little to original game.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Positive Messages

Teaches children importance of friendship, respect for "all animals at all times."

Positive Role Models & Representations

Heros are Nuna, a young Inupiaq girl, and her best friend, Fox. Both work together to keep the other safe, rescue their lost mouse friend.

Ease of Play

Simple controls; easy to learn. Challenge comes in figuring out how to use Fox, Nuna's special skills to solve puzzles.

Violence

Nuna and Fox can "die" in various ways: drowning, falling, being eaten by a monstrous mouse. But their ends aren't graphic; there's no blood, they come right back to life.

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Never Alone: Foxtales is a downloadable puzzle-based add-on to the base game, Never Alone. (Players must own the base game to play Foxtales.) It contains interesting information regarding the Inupiaq people of Alaska and features mild, nongraphic violence. Nuna and Fox, the playable characters, can "die" by falling, drowning, or being eaten by creatures, but no blood is shown and they both return quickly. Players (either alone or with a friend sitting next to them) need to use each character's special skills to solve puzzles, which is the big challenge with the add-on.

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What's it about?

In NEVER ALONE: FOXTALES, a young Inupiaq girl named Nuna and her best friend, Fox, go out with their buddy Mouse to enjoy the spring thaw. Unfortunately, their carelessness during their exploration gets Mouse into trouble. It's up to Nuna and Fox to rescue him using their unique skills. Along the way, they'll face off against and defeat another giant, man-eating mouse.

Is it any good?

This short narrative addition to the unique adventure game leaves a lot to be desired. It builds upon a traditional Inupiaq tale about two brothers and gives gamers a handful of fun new cooperative puzzles to solve. Though it's made with the same frost-covered magic as the base game, Foxtales is terribly short and, as such, is somewhat disappointing. It sets players against the brutal elements of winter and lets them experience the joy of an Alaskan springtime. The seasonal change gives players the chance to paddle a boat and swim through underwater caves while overcoming geographic obstacles and outsmarting a giant man-eating mouse. As in the original game, there are secret owls that unlock videos featuring interviews with members of the Inupiaq nation; these videos offer further insight into Inupiaq values and folk traditions. Gameplay is very similar to that of Never Alone (minus the bola weapon) but still takes advantage of its unique, cooperative aspect. But as interesting as its puzzles are, and as meaningful as its moral might be, this extra chapter can be completed in roughly an hour. That makes its asking price feel a touch steep -- and unjustifiable. Never Alone: Foxtales could've been a stronger add-on to a great game, but instead it feels like content that should've been included in the original game.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about respect for animals. Can you think of an organization that fights for animal rights?

  • Discuss springtime. What's your favorite thing about spring? Why?

  • Think about friendship. What makes your friends special to you?

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