Thomas Was Alone review

To complete a level, each character must fill their designated space. SOURCE DESTRUCTOID
February 18, 2013

Developer/Publisher: Mike Bithell
Genre: Puzzle Platformer
Number of Players: 1
Available on: PC/Mac
Release date: July 24, 2012

There are few games that give you that tingly feeling in your stomach, put a smile on your face, and make you just downright giddy. Thomas Was Alone is one of them.

At first glance, Thomas Was Alone appears to be nothing more than an extremely simplistic platformer with a diverse cast of colorful quadrilaterals. As you become sucked into the story, however, you will see these rectangular blocks as more than that; you will see them as characters with names and personalities. I can't believe I started to have feelings for a big, blue square named Claire.

Contrary to the title, Thomas, the red rectangle, is not alone on his journey. This game is really all about friendship. Each character has a unique ability that the other characters don't possess. For example, John, the tall, yellow rectangle, has the ability to jump really high, while Claire, the big, blue square, has the ability to swim. As you progress, you will discover each character's unique ability.

Most of the time, multiple characters are present on one level. The player switches between characters in order to progress through the level.

If not for the engaging story, wonderful narration by Danny Wallace, and touching soundtrack composed, produced, and mixed by David Housden, Thomas Was Alone would just be a simple platformer with nothing to keep you playing. However, all of these elements combined make it one of the most unique platformers I have ever played.

The only complaint I have about the game is the lack of difficulty spike. While some levels were challenging and required me to think for a couple minutes on how to go about completing them, I expected the levels to get harder towards to end, and they weren't as difficult as I would have liked. I wanted a little more of a challenge. Nevertheless, I had so much fun playing Thomas Was Alone.

I recommend this game to anyone who truly enjoys puzzle platforming. Indie games, in general, will always have a special place in my heart, and Thomas Was Alone is one that will always stick out in my mind as being really, really special.

Final thoughts

Gameplay: Simple, yet sometimes challenging, puzzle-platforming fun.

Appearance: The simplicity of the characters makes you focus not on what they look like, but their personalities (shouldn't we all do that?)

Sound: The music in this game is incredible. The soundtrack was entirely composed, produced, and mixed by David Housden. It can be purchased on iTunes for $9.99. I highly recommend it.

Replay value: There isn't much replay value with this game. Because the levels are simple, for the most part, there will be little to no desire to play through it again.

Overall score: