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Brave the dangers of the great white north
Never Alone certainly deserves some points for the sheer originality of its subject matter, bringing Alaskan Native affairs to the minds of gamers as it does, but fortunately it's also a very decent puzzle/platformer in its own right. It's not quite perfect, with some control issues that increase frustration, while it's also quite short, but it's still well worth picking up. You play the dual roles of Nuna and Fox, two young characters who must venture forth to discover the source of a terrible blizzard which is threatening to destroy their home. The game can be played in single-player or co-op modes, and requires you to explore the harsh wilderness, swimming through frozen waters, braving treacherous ice and facing off against a variety of enemies as you go. You'll need to switch between the two characters to help you along, as they each have unique skills which will help you to navigate the various areas and to solve the myriad puzzles which bar your progress. Never Alone really is quite the delight. It certainly impresses with its visuals, which are strikingly designed and very stylish, with evocative use of color that really brings home the remote environment you're exploring. The mix of puzzling and platforming is well done too, with a nice sense of variety and challenge, with sections that are not too challenging but which are very satisfying to complete. There are some problems with the overly precise requirements for jumping and the slightly unresponsive controls, while the friendly AI is a bit wobbly, but these are generally minor complaints in what is otherwise a fine experience.