Why You Should Play “Thomas Was Alone”
Back in 2010, an indie game by UK developer Mike Blithell was released called Thomas was Alone. I bought it a while back after hearing some positive reviews, but being time poor and a slew of other, bigger titles got in the way of me completing it.
About a week ago I sat down and focused my attention on it. I’m glad I did. Thomas was Alone is such a great game.
I’m not going to do a full review of the game; there’s plenty of those out there by now because hey… 2010! But I do want to simply say that if you haven’t played this gem of a game by now, you should. It’s the best game about a bunch of differently shaped pixels you’ll ever play.
What is Thomas was Alone about, I hear you ask? Basically it’s a puzzle platformer, in which you move a series of blocks to a predetermined location in each level. What makes this game so good, however, is the story. Yes, the story. The game starts with a red rectangle named Thomas who, as you might guess, is alone. As Thomas progresses through each stage, the games narrator (UK comedian Danny Wallace) lets you know what Thomas is thinking and feeling. Later, Thomas meets up with other pixels, such as Chris, a cynical orange square who can’t jump very well, or Claire, a blue square who fancies herself a superhero. The pixels end up working together, as Wallace lets you know what they think of themselves and each other. It’s great writing, and you actually find yourself almost caring about what happens to these little blocks. You may even end up having a favorite!
The only disappointment I had was the ending; for a game that did focus so much on the characters and their story, the ending was a huge letdown.
That said, you really should buy and play this game. It’s on almost every platform under the sun (interestingly its not on XBox or iOS, but it is on PS3, Vita, PC, Mac and even Linux) so it shouldn’t be too hard to find. And four years after its release it’s cheap, too (only $9.99 on Steam, for instance). Go get it. You won’t regret it. The ending sucks, but this is a game that you’ll enjoy and you will remember for years to come.