If there was one game that I wanted to play at EGX this year it was Never Alone, this new indie title is the first from Upper One Games and is a collaboration between the developer and the native community of Alaska. The game is based on the traditional Inupiaq story called Kunuuksaayuka which has been passed down from generation to generation over thousands of years. As the story goes an endless blizzard threatens the very existence of the people and with his family starving a little boy and his pet fox go off in search of the source of the storm to put an end to the relentless punishment.
The game stays faithful to this with the only exception being that the main character is actually a little girl and not a boy, whilst it doesn’t change anything the developers wanted to present a strong and resilient female lead. In a world where female characters are represented so poorly this is a welcome change to the story and if anything it helps you to sympathise even more with the plight of the character. Let’s not let forget the fox in all this however, this game shines with local co-op and when a buddy and I played through the build on show it really hits you just how well designed this little game is. Teamwork is the name of the game, the fox can sense spirits in the world which you can use to guide you on your way, he can jump on their spectral platforms to lower them down for the girl to use, without him she can’t see them so only when the two work together in true platform/puzzle fashion does an otherwise impossible situation become clear.
Talking to the guys at the booth they are clearly very proud of both how the game is shaping up and the whole culture behind it, the passion with which they talked about the game was really refreshing in an event dominated by the usual franchises and garish advertisements. I was going to share a link to the gameplay footage but instead I would like you to click on the link and check out their site, read the story and the whole idea behind the game, it really is something that is both unique and beautiful. Never Alone should be on your list of must play games this year, it is shaping up to be something really special.