So this is the first game review I have written here, and it is for a small platforming Indie game called Never Alone.
The game came out a little while ago, but I picked it up over the holidays on sale on PSN for about five bucks. I will say this, it was the best five bucks I have ever spent.
The game follows an Inuit girl from her village, across the sprawling sea to the foot of a mountain (SPOILER I guess?) being hacked down by a giant. The girl is joined on her mission to save her village from the blizzards created by the giant by an arctic fox/fox spirit.
That is pretty much it for the story. It is a short game (took my roommate and I about 3-3:30 hours to complete the main game) but it is packed full of fun little platforming challenges.
That is the key to this game. It is a fun little platformer. None of the puzzles or bits are very difficult (unless you are my roommate and I and overthink simple solutions) and they don’t take a ton of time to figure out. But each aspect of gameplay is well done. For example, there is a mechanic with the wind, where if you jump into the breeze you will fall immediately, but if you jump with the breeze you can go twice as far.
This simple mechanic is used multiple times very well. There is also a mechanic with the fox/spirit, where it can control other spirits in the area and move them to create platforms and ledges. Here is a video of my roommate completely fucking me over with this mechanic.
And that video brings me to the best part of the game.
PLAY IT CO-OP.
I can’t say this enough. The game works ok as a single player campaign, but it really shines when you get a friend sitting next to you.
The best decision I made during the game came early. A couple of minutes in, there is a prompt asking if you want to control the second character yourself, or if another person wants to take over control of the fox. I asked my roommate if she wanted a go. She jumped at the chance to be the fox.
And so shenanigans ensued. I can’t tell you how many times I yelled, “Dammit Shannon!” because she moved a branch to early or because she got too far away from me causing the spirit I was standing on to disappear and kill me.
I also can’t tell you how many times she screamed, “THROW THE THING THROW THE THING!!!!” at me because my skills with the slingshot thing in the video above are sorely lacking.
The co-op of this game made this the most fun I have had playing video games in a long time. There is just something about watching my roommate jump her fox to its death, and then while the death animation is playing watching as the polar bear chasing us mauls my character into the same pit she just jumped into.
I unfortunately did not get the video of that one. But I will say we died at least six more times because we were too busy laughing to keep playing.
Aside from how much I loved playing co-op, I also enjoy the art style. I like the slightly cartoonish characters and setting. The controls were also very good. The game taught you what you could and could not do and stuck to it.
I will play this game again (there are three trophies I somehow missed?!) and love every second of it. I also was able to get the DLC as a bundle for that five dollar price tag.
I strongly advise anyone who loves cute little platformers to give this a shot. And anyone who likes co-op platformers, this is a must play. I just wish you all could hear our yelling and laughter in these videos.
Make sure you stick around for every death in those videos :) Damn that little fox spirit is so cute when he hides his face in shame.
Never Alone is available for the PS4, Xbox One, Wii U and PC according to its website. I played the PS4 version.