Thomas Was Alone is a delightful platform puzzle game which follows the story of a handful of shapes. At first, you will probably question how a game full of colourful squares and rectangles could be so enjoyable, which I’ll admit to doing also. But upon being introduced to each character and personality, you find yourself falling in love with each of them.
More than meets the eye
This game takes the roots of a platformer and presents it in it’s finest form. Although you expect to have seen it all before, it revisits the simplicity of what makes a platform game good. It is built upon the purest elements, and with no intense challenge it is easy to cruise through and embed yourself in the story. Each new shape you encounter has a story. You learn quickly what everyone is capable of, and also how to utilise working as a team to progress. There are ten stages to the story and each level involves different obstacles in order to challenge your puzzle solving skills.
A charming narrative accompanies all 100 levels, emphasising the emotional story behind each square. This narrative is what will keep you engaged for the whole game, otherwise it would feel extremely bland. Without it, Thomas Was Alone would definitely struggle to stand out. I’d definitely argue that the narrative is the most important part of this game. Despite a lot of thought going into level design, and how engaged you are kept when you need to use each shape to get from one point to the next, the concept is still simple. I’d recommend this game for just the narrative. I didn’t know what to expect upon playing for the first time, but I didn’t expect to feel so attached to everyone by the end. You learn to love every shape and their quirks and Danny Wallace’s narration really helps bring these little guys to life.
The sound design of the game is also particularly notable. Alongside an emotive story, several pieces of music played throughout the levels help tug on your heartstrings. Tiny elements of each piece of music make it seem as though the blocks are communicating with one another. It’s honestly just so wholesome. The soundtrack is memorable and it really helps you focus and crave progression when stuck on a hard level. Once again it attaches you as a player to the different blocks and it all comes together to produce such a wonderful feeling. When you get your characters to safety, and feel them going through levels, you definitely feel an indescribable pride.
As a whole, this game may look pretty basic upon first glance. But once picking it up, you will definitely spend hours trying to get all your new pals to safety. I fell in love with this game far harder than I expected to. I’ve played many platform games in my life, but this one stands out as one of the best for sure. Puzzles are fun and don’t repeat themselves, and everything seems oddly charming. Even down to the ominous black cloud which is never really explained. If you want to lose yourself amongst a handful of shapes for a few hours, I’d highly recommend this game.