At its core, Thomas Was Alone is about a group of personalities, forced together through circumstance, who face incredible odds to change the world. True, it is simply a platformer and each of the characters are actually quadrilaterals, yet it goes so much deeper than that. It explores the idea of being normal, and that normal isn’t always a good thing – we are all different, and our unique-ness is what will enable us to change the world.

 
 
The game begins with Thomas, a red rectangle. His first observation is that he is alone, and through narration we come to learn that he is very observant and does not like being on his own. He is a self-aware AI and notices that the world is built for his abilities; Thomas is great at falling, and the inverse, at jumping. As Thomas moves through the world, he meets Christopher, a curmudgeon, and John, an AI with incredible jumping ability. Next up is Claire, my personal favourite, a large blue square who believes she’s a superhero because she can swim when the other can’t. Following this is Laura, a bouncy AI who has a love affair with Chris, James, who defies gravity, and Sarah, who can double-jump. This ragtag group moves through a range of platforming puzzles, with a narrator explaining their internal monologues.
 
 

After Sarah tells them about the “fountain of wisdom”, which is actually an internet connection, they eventually find it and Thomas connects to it for 12 seconds. He becomes aware of the outside world and decides to architect the world to empower other AIs. After re-joining with his friends, they sacrifice themselves by entering the “creation matrix”. The next AIs we encounter are grey, but are able to take on the powers of the original crew by passing through “shifters”. Sam and Jo, a couple, eventually leap into the final portal and appear to enter the outer world.
 

 
 
Thomas Was Alone is ultimately a game about sacrifice, friendship and betrayal. It explores the very nature of what makes us who we are – personality, relatedness, and a desire to make something of ourselves. I have never cared so much about squares on a screen. The gameplay is nothing particularly unique. Each quadrilateral has a particular skill – using them in combination, the player needs to guide each of them to their portals, generally up and to the right. As far as jumping and manoeuvring goes, the game is fairly similar to other basic platformers – in that way it hasn’t moved far from its original flash design.
 
The power of this game comes from its storytelling. The script is genius, and subtly supported by the soundtrack. David Housden scored the original score, which gained a BAFTA nomination, while Danny Wallace narrated and earned a Games BAFTA Award in 2013 in the Performer category. Yes, he’s that good.
 
 
Through the narration and story-telling the anthropomorphized objects become so much more. It isn’t about getting the irritating square who can’t jump high to the next ledge, it’s about Laura and Thomas working together to help Chris to his next portal. Through simplistic and minimalist design, Thomas Was Alone creates an immersive game where players can identify with the characters.
To say I loved this game is simply not high enough praise – it is quite possibly the game that has had the greatest emotional impact on me this year. And yes, I’m comparing it to The Last of Us. Thomas Was Alone is available on PC and Mac through Steam, Desura, Indiecity, direct from the website, or for PS3 and Vita on the PSN.
 
 

Last Updated: August 29, 2013

Thomas was alone
Simple, straightforward and brilliant indie game. Pick it up at a bargain, or even pay full price; it is worth every penny. So well executed - a definite must play for any and everyone.
9.0
Thomas was alone was reviewed on PC
77 / 100

25 Comments

  1. RinceThisNintypoo

    August 29, 2013 at 11:10

    Indie FTW! Any news whether it will make it to Xbox360?

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      August 29, 2013 at 11:23

      Yes, but only with low res textures trollol

      (back to the box I go)

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

        August 29, 2013 at 11:41

        XD

        Reply

      • RinceThisNintypoo

        August 29, 2013 at 12:02

        OI!

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

          August 29, 2013 at 12:25

          You should enjoy this game, lots to relate to.
          #RinceIsAlone

          😛

          trolololol.

          I keed I keeeed!

          Reply

          • RinceThisNintypoo

            August 29, 2013 at 12:25

            🙁

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      August 29, 2013 at 11:23

      Yes, but only with low res textures trollol

      (back to the box I go)

      Reply

  2. Kyrelimit

    August 29, 2013 at 11:24

    Sounds incredible !

    Reply

  3. Marius Nell

    August 29, 2013 at 11:30

    This game is so amazing! soothing music! well worth a second playthrough with developers comentary to hear some interesting snippets on each level

    Reply

  4. hairyknees

    August 29, 2013 at 11:34

    Loved this game 🙂 the soundtrack was so freaking awesome too!

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

      August 29, 2013 at 11:40

      I know, really really good!!!

      Reply

  5. Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

    August 29, 2013 at 11:40

    As a TWA veteran, I approve wholeheartedly of this.

    Music, emotion, gameplay, involvement. If you have not yet played this, I cannot stress enough how awesome this is!

    Put this on your gaming list TODAY.

    It’s totally worth the
    [Admiral Chief Stamp of Approval]
    (stamp applied with the hammer of ban)

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      August 29, 2013 at 11:51

      It’s in the backlog. Picked it up with some or other indie bundle.

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

        August 29, 2013 at 11:56

        Just start playing it dude, really good

        Reply

  6. Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

    August 29, 2013 at 11:41

    I’m totally with you on the emotional involvement. This game moved me.

    Reply

  7. Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

    August 29, 2013 at 11:44

    MILD SPOILER ALERT:
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    .
    .
    .
    .

    My favourite quote ingame:
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    .

    “Thomas was connected to the internet for 12 seconds. And he had seen everything. He had seen the cats who couldn’t spell, he had heard of the arrow through the knee. He felt that there was a thing called cake, but that it was a lie”

    Quite frankly, the best quote I have EVER read

    Reply

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      August 29, 2013 at 11:45

      Love that, too! too much awesome

      Reply

  8. Devourer of Small Bunnies

    August 29, 2013 at 11:46

    This is a superb game, thoroughly enjoyed it

    Reply

  9. Admiral Chief Raider of Tombs

    August 29, 2013 at 11:49

    I REEEEEALLY hoped Lagz would write about this. Really glad they did

    Reply

  10. TiMsTeR1033

    August 29, 2013 at 12:03

    how does this get an incredible????

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn

      August 29, 2013 at 12:06

      Play it and find out I would say

      Reply

      • TiMsTeR1033

        August 29, 2013 at 12:07

        Ill get it now

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          August 29, 2013 at 12:11

          Me too.

          Reply

  11. Hammersteyn

    August 29, 2013 at 12:06

    Apparently graphics isn’t everything.

    Reply

    • Unavengedavo (aka. Frik)

      August 29, 2013 at 13:19

      It isn’t, I still enjoy games like Quest for Glory!

      Reply

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