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Never Alone, A Platformer Telling Native Alaskan Folklore

A child and her fox pal against the wilds

One of the many wonderful things about games is that they can be a fine way to tell stories we don't often hear, bringing them to new audiences and drawing people into the tale. A puzzle-platformer with co-op and a pretty art style is interesting enough in itself, but Never Alone is also being used to transmit culture and folklore of the Iñupiaq and other Alaska Native people. A new trailer gives a peek at the sorts of beasties it'll introduce to us.

Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna in Iñupiaq) sees young girl Nuna and her fox friend off adventuring over ice floes, through forests, and across tundra. (In single-player you can switch between them, while they're split up in co-op.) Along the way, they'll come across folklore characters, some of whom sound more friendly than others, like Manslayer, Blizzard Man, Sky People, the Little People, and the Rolling Heads. I know nothing about any of these, but who wouldn't want to learn about the Rolling Heads?

"For thousands of years we told stories from one generation to the next," the announcement trailer explains. "Our stories help us to understand how the world is ordered and our place within it, but what good are old stories if the wisdom they contain is not shared?"

Never Alone's being made by Upper One Games, a studio founded by the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, including several Iñupiaq elders and storytellers. It's due later this year, to cost $14.99.

For some mysterious reason, embedding is disabled on the new trailer so go over here to watch it.

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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