Thomas Was Alone (iPad)

THOMAS_BOXThomas Was Alone is an indie puzzle-platformer that was originally released on PC, then later on PS3 and Vita, and now you can play it on iOS devices (reviewed on iPad here).  In the game, you play as one or more different colored rectangles and squares.  Each one has a special ability.  One can jump really high, one can’t jump very well but can fit into small spaces, one can float on water, etc.  You must use teamwork to get all the shapes to their respective portals in a level.  Once they are all in a portal, you move onto the next stage.

The graphics are very rudimentary, but an award-winning narrator gives each square and rectangle a name, like Thomas, Chris, John, Claire, etc., as well as a personality.  The narration also helps you figure out each shape’s skills and how to get past certain obstacles.  I was both impressed and disappointed at the game’s controls at the same time.  The game uses the touch screen to move left and right, jump, and switch squares with ease.  I liked how accurate the directional controls were, as you can easily nudge slightly, handy for making staircases out of the blocks by jumping on top of each other.  However, there was a time or two where I would move in the total opposite direction, but I partly blame that on my carelessness while playing.  Even so, I can’t help but thing this game would be best played with a console controller.

The game has an artsy feel to it, due to the minimalist graphics, similar to Chuck Jones’ Academy Award-winning animated short: The Dot and the Line.  However, that wasn’t enough to grab me to keep playing.  Plus, the jumping puzzles can get repetitive in places, especially when you clear the same obstacles multiple times in one level.  And sometimes constantly switching out characters can be tiresome.  But if you enjoy indie games and jumping puzzle platformers, you may want to check this one out anyway.


Kid Factor:

On the PS3 and Vita, Thomas Was Alone is rated E for Everyone with ESRB descriptors of Mild Fantasy Violence and Mild Language.  I really don’t consider squares dissolving in water that violent, and I didn’t catch any bad words in the text, so they must be used sparingly.  Reading skill is helpful for the menus, but the words in-game are followed by spoken voice from that award-winning narrator.  Younger gamers may get frustrated with some of the harder levels, though.

3 Responses to “Thomas Was Alone (iPad)”

  1. On sale now at Humble Bundle for “Pay what you want” on PC and Android (same price for the two of them…) I spent $6 and picked up the larger set that included Small World 2 for both systems as well. (Small World 2 is a great boardgame and a very good implementation of it…) Anyone want a beat-down on Small World online should jot me a message.


  2. I’ve heard so many good things about this game, really need to try it out some time.

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