So I came across this game tonight called Never Alone – Kisima Inŋitchuŋa while scrolling through my twitter feed. Its been awhile since a game has grabbed my attention like this. For instance, right now its 2:21am and I’m blogging about it. The reason why it has caught my eye is because the concept has introduced a new genre of game which, in my opinion, breaks cultural boundaries.
What is this new genre I hear you say? Its called ‘World Games‘. This amazing new genre pairs the voices and stories of real people from various world cultures and game makers together to create enriching, exciting game worlds.
This specific game was a two-year venture which involved close collaboration between game makers and Alaskan native storytellers and elders of the Iñupiat tribes (there are two). Upper One Games have now become the “first indigenous-owned video game developer and publisher in US history”.
This, to me, is astounding and a fantastic new way of telling stories from the past to a new generation and a way of keeping these stories alive for generations to come. It also creates a deep and unique understanding for this cultures values and mythologies which otherwise would not have been explored by the outside world.
The game itself is a puzzle platformer which centres around a young girl called Nuna and her white Arctic fox. It can be played as a single player or Co-Op. The game is broken up into eight chapters which are built of unique Iñupiaq stories. Nuna must travel throughout these stories, sometimes with the help of her Fox Companion, so that she can help to save her tribe from an endless blizzard. The story itself is taken from a tale called “kunuuksaayuka.” A tale passed among the Inupiat people for well over a century.
The trailer makes me eager to get my hands on this game and the enriching, rewarding experience that it promises to be. The story and concept, while unique, are also quite captivating. Never Alone – Kisima Inŋitchuŋa is out Nov 18th 2014 on Xbox one, PS4 and Steam. In the meantime, you can check out the trailer below: