The Last Inua is a 2D platform adventure game developed by Glowforth. It is based on Inuit mythology, and for those who don’t know, Inuit are an indigenous people who are found inhabiting the arctic regions of Canada, Greenland and the USA. They, like many indigenous groups, are culturally different to a lot of modern cultures today.They’re a very peaceful people who often hunt their own food rather than buying it from a local shop and they eat what we’d consider strange foods like Muktuk, a traditional meal consisting of whale skin and blubber. However they aren’t completely different with similarities like enjoying music as a pastime and living in modern houses as opposed to igloos like their ancestors would. The Inua which the game is named after is to do with Inuit beliefs; it is a spirit that exists in all things: humans, animals, plants and even rivers. It means that all things equal, no one creature is any more important than another and therefore you don’t take the life of another needlessly. If hunting and an animal is killed it is because that animals spirit wishes to help the hunter, and the Inuit people would show respect to its capture as thanks and to show the other spirits it appreciates the sacrifice.
Now I have educated you good folk a little I should probably move onto the game. As mentioned it is a 2D platform adventure game where you will control two characters, an Inuit father named Ataataq and his son Hiko. You begin your journey in a dark igloo with nothing more than a small flame on the screen; repeatedly clicking the screen causes the light to fight back the darkness allowing you to see Ataataq and his son performing an ancient Inuit ritual. All of a sudden the light vanishes and a scream can be heard. Hiko is gone. Ataataq makes his way through the snow and wind to try and find where he is, only to discover that Hiko has been approached by ancient Inuit Gods and gifted supernatural abilities. They need Hiko as his spirit possesses great power and he is the only one who can help them defeat an ancient demon known as Tonrar who seeks to take control of their land, and to destroy Hiko, knowing that he is the key to winning the battle between good and evil. Ataataq and Hiko must work together combining their brute strength and magical powers in order to survive the evils lurking in the world and prevent Tonrar from achieving his goal.
The story is well written into the game; the unique tale that uses Inuit mythology works well with the family theme and it helps keeps an emotional tie on what is happening because not only are you saving the world, but you’re also having to look after each other because you’re family. This is something that isn’t just exclusive to Inuit culture, people all around the world value family above all else because there is no changing who your family are and at the end of the day they’re always there for you. There will be times where you will be challenged and you’ll have to combine each characters skills to help keep each other safe; this means breaking boulders, pushing stones and climbing walls with Ataataq, while Hiko uses his abilities to create bridges and transport to unbelievable heights. The thing to remember is to do what families do best and stick together, because there is no stronger bond than family and when you stick together you can accomplish anything.
To go with the great story there is also a beautifully crafted world to immerse yourself into thanks to the graphic designers over at Glowforth. The fact that it takes place in an arctic region you’d think there’d be little detail to go into a world that is covered in snow and ice, but it is surprising how detailed the game is. It does use a pretty simple colour palette with Black and White dominating the environments which kind of, for me anyway, helps emphasise the battle that is going on between good and evil. But with such a basic colour set up, it allows for the playable characters, the spirit that follows Hiko around and even the enemies to stand out a little more. Another nice effect is that as you journey through the game your screen becomes frosted by ice making it difficult to see around you. There will be fires throughout the levels which you will need to stand by and use to thaw the ice, freeing your screen so you can continue on your way.
As for gameplay it is really enjoyable but there was a slight issue with the mechanics which got on my nerves from time to time. The controls are simple to get used to using a combination of keyboard and mouse to help you move around and use each of the characters abilities, and the animations of the characters always ran smoothly. The issue was though that at times you’ll be walking through the snow and say you start with Ataataq, Hiko will follow behind you. Obviously there are times where each character will not follow the other because of obstacles like a wall which Ataataq will have to climb. However, occasionally there would be times where I’d need the other character to follow me and instead of doing so they’d stand still until I went back and walked past them a few times, or switch characters a few times to continue moving forward one at a time which made levels take a little longer than necessary. Maybe I was doing something wrong though. Apart from that though the game was a solid build and they’d really thought all the little things through such as character’s movement speed being relatively slow due to trekking through snow, something some developers fail to realise.
The guys at Glowforth really should be proud of their creation; it combines a great story with beautiful artwork and throws in a sprinkle of of magic. The puzzles you come across are varied and fun, and the situations you find yourself in can sometimes feel a little scary and get the heart racing, I mean nobody wants to be caught by an abominable snowman. There was a slight annoyance with mechanics which I felt slowed the game down more than was necessary, but again maybe I was doing something wrong, but overall the developers had done a good job as everything else went smoothly. If there was one thing I’d like to see more of, it’d be the Inuit culture in-game; for example when Characters speak I’d have liked to see some authentic languages of the Inuit people. It may be a big ask and difficult to do with many varieties of Inuit languages around, but I believe sometimes it is worth going the extra mile. I’d also have liked to see traditional Inuit Throat singing as it would have made the game feel more authentic and give it that bit more uniqueness, although that is no discredit to the people working on the soundtrack because it was beautiful and went well with the game, capturing each moment perfectly. So if you’re looking for a fun puzzle game with a unique style and beautiful artwork then Last Inua is definitely worth it at a bargain £5.99 on Steam.
- OS: Windows XP SP2
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.1GHz or equivalent
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Graphics: 2nd Generation Intel Core HD Graphics (2000/3000), 256MB
- DirectX: Version 9.0
- Hard Drive: 600MB available space
Mac OS X:
- OS: OS X 10.6 or later
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.0GHz or equivalent
- Memory: 2GB RAM
- Hard Drive: 620MB available space
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.