Tuesday 20 March 2018
Free Download Never Alone

Free Download Never Alone

Free Download Never Alone, also known as Kisima Inŋitchuŋa, is a puzzle video game by Upper One Games. Swapping between an Iñupiaq girl named Nuna and her arctic fox, the player completes puzzles in a story based on Alaskan indigenous folklore told in eight chapters. The player-character plays as the Iñupiaq girl Nuna and her arctic fox. As an “atmospheric puzzle platformer”, Free Download Never Alone’s puzzles entail swapping control between Nuna and the fox. While the fox is fast, Nina can pick up things and open new areas using her bola. Its story is based around Alaskan indigenous folklore and restoring balance in “eternal blizzard” by visiting its source. Stories include that of Blizzard Man, the Little People, Manslayer, the Rolling Heads, and Sky People. It is split into eight chapters. The game is based on the intergenerational transference of wisdom. It takes place in an inhospitable physical environment.

The game also known as Kisima Inŋitchuŋa was developed by Upper One Games in conjunction with the Cook Inlet Tribal Council, a non-profit organization that works with indigenous groups living in Alaska’s urban areas. The Council met with video game education company E-Line Media and generated the idea for Free Download Never Alone as part of a series that “shares, celebrates, and extends culture”. The Council’s for-profit Upper One Games is the “first indigenous-owned video game developer and publisher in US history”. They built the game to explore “what it means to be human” and intergenerational stories. It is intended both to share the stories of native culture as entertainment, and to revitalize interest in Alaskan indigenous folklore. Proceeds from the game will fund the Council’s education mission. E-Line creative director Sean Vesce was excited by the idea and challenge of leaving his cubicles where “a bunch of white guys” discuss fictional fantasies and instead work to build a game around a community’s “values and mythologies”.

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