Thomas Was Alone Review
Thomas Was Alone is pretty much the exact opposite of whatever comes to mind when you read that title. You play as a group of misfit rectangles whose only hints of personality come from a very hilarious narrator with a British accent. Without the dynamic of the narrator, Thomas Was Alone would be nothing more than a puzzle game featuring different colored rectangles who each possessed a different jump height.
Don’t go into this game expecting a challenge, because if you are familiar with platformers, none of the puzzles should stump you. The actual fun in the game is the interaction between the characters. Chris, the second character introduced, hates the other rectangles because they can jump higher than him and most puzzles require Chris to jump on the others to reach higher places. Claire finds out quickly that she is the only character who can float in water, so she believes that she is a super hero.
There is plenty of replayability with the collectibles that are nearly invisible to anybody not looking for them, and the developer commentary. The commentary, provided by the game’s lone developer, Mike Bithell, who actually addresses almost everything about the game I disliked. However, this doesn’t excuse the game’s downfalls.
The narration was spot on, but the timing on the shorter levels is horrible, and I found myself completing levels but waiting to enter the portal just to finish the narration, which was frustrating. The game begs to become challenging, but it just never becomes anything that will force you to look up a walkthrough. Thomas Was Alone also has a pretty lame checkpoint system, which I found out with the commentary that it was only added weeks before launch, but it makes the game way too easy nonetheless.
One complaint he didn’t address is that when moving characters right with the analog stick on my Vita, my thumb would sometimes touch the screen and switch characters, which sometimes made them fall to their death, or fall off a high spot which forced me to repeat the level. I wish there was a way to turn of the touch screen so I could play normally.
Despite these downfalls, the game is currently $2.50 on the PlayStation Store with the 14 for 14 deal, and you get both the PS3 and PS Vita versions when you purchase, so it’s a really great deal.
Overall, Thomas Was Alone is a mediocre platformer backed up by a fascinating narration describing how otherwise emotionless rectangles interact with each other.
+ A Good…Story?
+ Fun, Cheap, Cross-Buy
+ Narration Is Always Spot-On
– Too Easy