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.
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
Feb 14, 2014a game that makes you care about characters that are nothing more than rectangles or squares. Thomas was alone provides a really unique and interesting experience. It is a puzzle platformer that requires some thinking and the use of numerous "abilities" that the shapes possess. There are a number of powers and it is a treat to use the shapes numerous sizes and jumping abilities to navigate through a series of levels. the game is around the perfect length for something like this at about 3 hours (maybe less) but despite the excellent gameplay it is not the star of the show.
an excellent story told by narrations from an UN-named narrator describes the feelings and thoughts of most of these shapes as they attempt to escape their doom. The story is really interesting and is brilliantly written.
this game was an absolute treat to play on vita.… Expand