Thomas Was Alone (Vita) Review
Posted by Adam Larck on 05.06.2013
This may be the most invested youíll ever get in cubes. See the full review inside.
Title: Thomas Was Alone
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment Association
Developer: Mike Bithell
Thomas Was Alone has a great narrative. It features love, hatred, friendship, self-questioning, loss and more. It features characters youíll get involved with and feel for as the game progresses.
It also features various squares bouncing around from level to level.
Thomas Was Alone is a platformer that starts out focusing on Thomas, a red rectangle, as he bounces through levels. Pretty soon, more squares of various shapes and sizes get introduced that have different abilities. One is small and jumps short, while another can float on water or spring squares up to higher locations. The differences are key to utilize to help progress farther into the game.
The game itself is simple to pick up and play. All you have to do is use the various squares to jump around and match them up with their respective ending spot to complete the level. Itís not complex, and is something youíve seen with a lot of other platformers.
Even the puzzles introduced arenít really complex. Most puzzles are pretty simple to find the solution to, except for a few puzzles, and some areas are even revisited a few times as you go through. Still, the gameís 100 levels will keep you entertained, and there are already 50 extra levels through DLC.
The complexity and charm come in from each of the unique squares. They all form together through forced teamwork to progress on, with friendship and bonding helping to keep them together in levels.
The real star of the game is the story work, narrated by Danny Wallace. While the squares are silent, Wallace manages to give each of them a personality, with characters they like and hate. Some of the funnier moments from the squares include Chris, the smallest square, complaining about Thomasí ability to jump and Claire, the large, floating square, deciding sheís a superhero because sheís waterproof.
These narrations, along with a dark cloud that follows your team around later on, really helps to invest you in the little squares as they go from level to level. Sure, the gameplay is solid, but itís platforming youíve seen before in dozens of other games with a lot more complexity. Thomas Was Alone isnít a thinking manís game in terms of puzzles, but is in terms of story.
The graphics for the game are simplistic in nature, considering its start as a Flash game. However, the varying backgrounds, lighting and haunting soundtrack really help to give the game a great mood to enjoy as you jump around.
Great story and narration.
Gameplay is simplistic yet enjoyable.
Quite a few levels to jump through.
If you donít like narration, this game may not be for you.
After you beat all levels not a ton of reason to go back through.
Thomas Was Alone is a prime example of how narration can make a game great. On its own, the game is a decent platformer. However, once the narration is added in the game becomes great. If you have a Vita, give the game a look. Itís easy to pick up and enjoyable to all.
The simplistic graphics get the job done, but the impact by them is multiplied by the backgrounds and music.
The gameplay is solid, but the narration does an amazing job of adding life and personality to faceless squares.
The soundtrack is great and really helps play up the story and environment.
Thereís 100 levels to go through which will take a few hours. After that, though, thereís not a lot of a reason to go back through.
I really kept going through this game because the narration hooked me, and will probably hook a lot of readers out there as well.