The Average Gamer

Thomas Was Alone Review (PC)

What is it?
A puzzle platformer with more charm and personality than a fair number of AAA titles in the genre.

Is it fun?
Yes, absolutely. Frustrating at times, but immensely satisfying when enough dedication is applied to the puzzles.

Is it worth the money? £5.99
Yeah. HELL YEAH. Fantastic and lovingly crafted indie game with a reasonable price tag.

You know when you play a video game and you have that moment, that euphoric second, when you start to not just know and interact with a character in that game, but also love them? I got to enjoy that moment several times in Thomas Was Alone.

Thomas Was Alone is a puzzle platformer which can be best described as The Impossible Game having a baby with N+ – that is the closest description I have for it. The puzzles at first revolve around Thomas exploring this strange new world he has been faced with, overcoming the obstacles and confusion within. Slowly though he find friends. Friends with different abilities and personalities who join in his quest to discover the end of each level. Each with their own unique abilities to help them each other, Thomas included, reach the shining white light. It’s simple, basic, incredibly well-crafted block puzzles, which you can see demonstrated in the video below. I admit to getting frustrated at times, but I played it right through to the end happily because I didn’t want to leave Thomas’ side.


Now though the gameplay is good – and please don’t let me understate that it is very good – the true marvel here is the characterisation. It’s actually quite stunning that I cared so much for every character in this game, with… what are ostensibly different sized and coloured rectangular shapes. Oh, and there’s also a square one as well. I want to make that clear because I would hate Chris to think that I was referring to him as a rectangle. Chris is the orange square. He gets a tad grouchy, you see. He didn’t want Thomas to exist in his space. He was happy where he was, content, until the big red bugger showed up and started jumping all over the room like he owned the place. I don’t wish to make things worse by implying he is a quadrilateral which he is not.

You know what’s crazy? I believe everything that I just said. Chris and the rest of the band who Thomas meets along the way are not just his friends, they’re my friends. John, Chris, Laura, Claire, James, and Sarah – I remember each of them fondly from my time playing. I remember their personalities, their likes, dislikes, dreams, and character traits, even though to the naked eye they are mere blocks in a two dimensional world.

The writing and voice acting are what sells it here. The entire game is narrated by Danny Wallace as Thomas’ inner monologue, with occasional hints of omniscience to keep the pace flowing. He carries you through the whole thing with all the style and grace that Stephen Fry did in Little Big Planet or Stephen Merchant in Portal 2 with the backing of touching, charming, and straightforward terrific writing.

My newest friends.

I could not recommend this game highly enough. I hope it comes to many platforms in the future (especially the Vita, wink) but for now it is available for PC and MAC on the Thomas Was Alone official website.

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