Wednesday, 6 July 2016


It's an idea which has gained and lost popularity over the years, but it's still around. However, it has changed form slightly.

Never Alone is the first game I'll talk about. On a purely game-centric level, it is simple, easy, somewhat monochromatic co-op platformer. Where the game comes into its own is the rich heritage of the Inuktitut people. This provides the story of the game and a series of videos with real Inuk, offering a shallow but intriguing view into a very alien culture. The game is also narrated in Inuk language, providing its real title: Kisima Inŋitchuŋa.

I'm glad to see this kind of thing among the endless retro-inspired trendy platformers. However, the game does not control well, resulting in a fair bit of frustration despite the low difficulty and short length. Worth a try if you're patient enough to watch the videos.

Next up is Valiant Hearts: The Great War. As the title suggests, it is set in World War I, and switches back and forth between various viewpoints. It is eager to point out the similarities in each side, drawing parallels in the hatred and stupidity of officers everywhere. Like Never Alone, it is a simple puzzle/platformer, but it also has a few minigames to break it up a little. Despite the unavoidably grim tone imparted by the setting, it still manages to pull off some moments of levity.

While the two games share common goals and have some similar features, I much prefer Valiant Hearts for its poignancy and snappy art style. Also of note is its developer, Ubisoft, who are popularly seen as corporate and unfeeling; it's good to see that they can still produce compelling games.

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