Parents' Guide to

Never Alone: Ki Edition

By Neilie Johnson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Violent, beautiful Native tale with young, strong heroine.

Never Alone: Ki Edition Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this game.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 9+

Beautiful graphics, great Indigenous story

Beautifully illustrated game, intriguing use of Indigenous language and clever 'puzzles' to navigate to get to the end. We liked that this game is better played with a friend which seemed to underline the implicit message of collaborating and working together. Our child is squeamish about things that are scary but was not at all put off by the virtual threat of polar bears and mean antagonists. It's worth nothing that Never Alone, was developed in collaboration with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council (which is a kudos not all games featuring Indigenous characters can claim). It also won best debut at the British Academy Games Awards in 2015 according to CBC. https://goo.gl/XYCNtK
age 10+

Nature vs. Nurture

A game, movie, book, etc. may have violence in it without being violent in nature. Such is this game. While there is lots of violence in it (mainly directed at the protagonists), it is not a violent game. While we haven't finished the game yet, what we have played is beautiful and heartwarming, and often tragic (deaths can be common, and are not played down). It may not win any awards for design, but its art and story teach and uplift while being moved along well by the gameplay. Too few games have stories like these. Because the gameplay and story complement each other so beautifully, it gets five stars from me.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Never Alone offers beautifully handled single-player or two-player cooperative play, with each character using unique abilities: Nuna uses a bola to destroy barriers, while the fox can climb higher and enlist the help of magical Nature spirits. Beyond interesting playable characters, the coolest thing about Never Alone is the way action is motivated by the arctic environment. The game takes place during a blizzard, so the wind has a strong effect on your progress. It makes for more entertaining and challenging navigation. Also, the game looks gorgeous. Expressing beauty is clearly intentional in Never Alone, although it's a stark kind of beauty. The graphics alternate between delicately handled 3-D models and a more illustrative approach that looks like ancient cave paintings. The styles are surprisingly complementary and effectively communicate the true heart of the tale.

Never Alone's main problems are its inconsistent "follow" function and occasional misdirection. The first is a single-player problem that happens when the following character does stupid things like throw him or herself off a cliff. Clearly, the follower should be smart enough to wait to progress safely, but, alas, it isn't always so. The second problem occurs when your path of progression is unclear. This happens a handful of times and results in many untimely deaths. Fortunately, it's not a huge problem thanks to many closely spaced checkpoints and a fast reload. Overall, Never Alone is both good and good for you. Enhanced by a rich, rarely seen cultural tradition, it represents a near-ideal blend of beauty, educational information, and fun. This kind of game should come along more often.

Game Details

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