Thomas Was Alone starts out as a platformer that talks to you, but it becomes so much more as it tells the story of an intuitive plot that lends itself to gameplay, or was it vice versa? One can’t be too sure with such an introspective narrative that quickly becomes one metacognitive realization after another.
Blocks walking along landscapes carved out of more and more detailed graphics are given basic personalities, but the way they inevitably interact with each other based on several factors such as their usefulness to each other travelling through each level is what gives Thomas Was Alone the premise for its story.
Gameplay: Thomas Was Alone feels like a platformer right away but eventually becomes more of a mix of running and platforming with most levels made into an advancing puzzle of sorts. You will be calling yourself stupid sometimes and laughing out loud since the game is based on extremely simplistic gameplay concepts at its core and yet still finds ways to outsmart you or cause you to fumble oh what many consider the basics of gaming. Each character fits together in such a way that eventually you will figure out how to get through if you just exercise patience and allow your creative thinking and instincts guide you.
The only thing we really would have liked to see is more content, possibly a bit more variety in gameplay and of course further story development. Hopefully what Thomas Was Alone started is just the beginning of this inspiring take on modern-meets-retro side-scroller / puzzle gameplay.
Controls: The controls of this game are very intuitive and allow gamers to easily pick it up and play even if they’ve never played before. Once a number of challenges are introduced the game becomes dependent on your ability to both mentally figure out the puzzle with which you are presented as well as physically master the tight maneuvers the controls of Thomas Was Alone provide.
Characters / Enemies: Thomas Was Alone is told in a charming way that faces a group of objects against their terrain in an unknown virtual world, or perhaps an alternate dimension, it really couldn’t be certain. Each character in the game’s thoughts are expressed and over the course of Thomas Was Alone you will get to feeling like you know them all personally. Each character is used for a different purpose in the puzzle gameplay mechanics as they are revealed one at a time.
Graphics / Art Direction: The game’s basic look gives it a feel that is at most times very novel and nostalgic. The vision of this title has been pulled off pretty well in terms of presentation but if you’re not a fan of Retro-inspired pixel art then you may find this game lacking in your modernized expectations.
Soundtrack, Audio, Voice: Music is shuffled sections of music with emotional drive that is set to the backdrop of each game’s level as well as procedurally loaded to prevent becoming repetitive.
As for additional soundtrack audio this game also allows you to turn up “Commentary Volume” which features the creator of the game talking out loud about his feelings about each level and what went on behind the scenes putting the game together scene-by-scene.
Overall Score: 8.75/10
RGN Rating: Silver Game
Available On: PS3 / Vita / PC / MAC / Linux
Developer / Publisher: Mike Bithell / Studios
Played On: PlayStation 3
Review Copy Info: A digital voucher for this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for purposes of this review.