May 11, 2013I got Thomas Was Alone because it was free this month on PS Plus, but I would have been very happen to purchase it. If I had to describe it I would say 'portal with quadrangles'. It is available on multiple platforms but with well implemented touch controls that complement the standard buttons and most levels only taking a few minutes to complete it is a perfect fit for Vita.
Nov 25, 2013In terms of storytelling telling and atmosphere Thomas Was Alone gets everything pretty much spot on, managing to create a memorable cast of characters from little more than squares and rectangles despite its minimalist approach.
Unfortunately the gameplay itself, while competent, can't quite live up to the excellent presentation. I expect many will find it to be a little slow paced and its a shame that the puzzles never evolve to be as difficult, or indeed as clever, as the very best in the genre (such as Braid). It may not be a true classic but I'd recommend it to anyone looking for something a bit different.
*Having played both the PS3 and Vita version I must say it suited the handheld better.… Expand
Jun 11, 2013What 'Thomas' does, it does very well, and kudos to the developer for actually making me care about these blocks can't fault them for that. Danny Wallace's narration in particular is one of the best I've heard in a game for some time, and never grates unlike Steven-bloody-Fry in LBP.
It would be deeply unfair, however, to aim my main criticism at TWA, which is (I reiterate) a Good Game. However it is also the kind of thing I was playing 23-bleedin' years ago on my Amiga 500 (I know, I've still got it). My PS Vita is, as Sony keeps telling us, a titanic piece of kit, a handheld monster that once PS4 comes along will dominate all life but when I've paid £240 on Day One for it, and eighteen months down the line some of the top-rated Vita games are antiquated 2-D side-scrolling platformers WTF? Seriously WTF?
Sony has today announced that PS4 will be cheaper and better than XBOne. Frankly I'm not holding my breath.… Expand
Aug 2, 2013Mike Bithell makes a game that is such an incredible joy to play, I hated having it finished.
Sporting hilarious narration, beautifully simplistic design and truly enjoyable mechanics that was only let down by the simple technicality that there was just not enough of it.
Originally finding its way into my life as one of the PS+ freebies for April, Thomas Was Alone was randomly selected to be the first game I've played in a long time on the dust collector called my PS Vita.
The story of Thomas is a simple one. He is an AI gone rogue, but an AI with a heart that is ultimately filled with friendship and heroism as he joins a band of other misfit AI to escape into the world.
Thomas, as the name suggests, begins the story as a lone jumping rectangle that you guide through various simple side scrolling levels. On your journey however you meet various other quadrangles of different sizes that provide different skills; including a short wide pink one that functions as a trampoline, a large blue square that cant jump very high but floats on water and a tall slim yellow one that jumps to enormous heights. It is in this part of the design that the games concept truly excels, instead of learning skills you meet friends, instead of fighting enemies you tackle the changing levels as a team, you must use your brain and work out the correct way and place to make use of each characters skills to guide you through the story, a concept I really warmed to.
Each shape is given unique personality and character via the stunningly charming and soothing narration by Danny Wallace continuing to add to the nonsensical depth of a group of shapes and giving you an idea of the importance of their adventure from their perspective. It is at this point where Thomas Was Alone really becomes an experience. The story narration, alongside beautiful music by Danny Housden, and lighting effects that are pointlessly beautiful, bring the mechanics of this little game to life. On face value this is a game where you play as a series of shapes jumping around a world, but the more you play, the more it becomes, making you care for the characters, cheer for them, vilify them and genuinely be happy for them as they progress through their journey, a journey that is all too short.
And it is here where my only issue, but a personal argument lies. At around 3 hours this game is short as you'd expect from the price point and genre but I cant decide if I want more. There is a fascinating commentary edition to play through that as a fan of movie commentaries I loved but what I really wanted was more to play in this world. However the issue I'm facing is that I feel much more would have devalued it, risked the ‘novelty wearing off’ or myself becoming frustrated at an eventually rising difficulty curve.
Thomas Was Alone is the beautiful vision of a single man that takes any ‘graphics over gameplay’ argument by the scruff of its neck and gives it a good smacking. You become engrossed in the story, the characters and the world in a way I haven't felt with any triple A games in a long long time and any indie games since Journey. Its low price point and short compact ‘experience it’ story make it a must buy with the latter being this games only downfall. Give me more.… Expand