Thomas Was Alone review

Written by Joe Martin

July 3, 2012 | 07:07

Tags: #platformer #review #thomas-was-alone

Companies: #indie #mike-bithell

Thomas Was Alone Review

It does behoove me to say that Thomas Was Alone is not a perfect game, however. It has flaws; tiny, imperceptible and not significantly damaging to the wider experience...but there and occasionally irritating. I'm going to run through them as quickly as possible, because I don't want any of this to dissuade you from buying the game.

Firstly, Thomas Was Alone is a very easy game and while that's a strength to start with, the flat difficulty curve means you'll churn through the game with alarming speed once you've learned the basics. There was only two instances in the game where I can remember being stuck for more than a minute.

Secondly, the side effect of being pretty easy means that levels often feel quite repetitive. The goal of each stage is to basically move the characters across the terrain and onto the correct portal, which is highlighted as a white silhouette. Once all the characters are in the right place, the level ends, so gameplay orients around harnessing the abilities of each character to get them into position at the right time.

Thomas Was Alone story trailer

Chris, for example, can't jump as high as the others, so often has to use others as a staircase that he can climb over. That's one of the most frequent puzzles in Thomas Was Alone and one which, because the solution doesn't require critical thinking or fast reactions, quickly becomes the most tiresome.

But, please, don't hold that against Thomas, because it's not as if this is a problem which stops people enjoying hundreds of other games. Most platformers involve re-using the same mechanics over and over and few of them require you to stretch your mind either. The only difference is that the simplified presentation, as well as letting the charm of the characters shine through, also occasionally reveals the mundane nature of their movements.

Thomas Was Alone review Thomas Was Alone Review
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The antidote to this is simple, however. Whenever you find yourself growing frustrated with making staircases or if you suspect you're burning through the levels faster than you really want to...just take a break. Sooner or later you'll come back for more and that'll prove that, while Thomas does have flaws, they are easily overcome.

And overcome them you should, because Thomas Was Alone is a truly fantastic game that'll instantly appeal to players of all types and abilities. Playing it over the course of the last week, with my (non-gamer) partner in the background laughing along and contributing ideas has been one of the best experiences I've had with a game all year - and something I recommend everyone else try too.
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  • Overall
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