|Platform: PC/PS3||Publisher: Mike Bithell||Developers: Bossa Studios, Curve Studios|
|Reviewer: JayWood2010||Genre: Puzzle Platformer||Rating: E|
Never would I have thought that I would be reviewing a game about blocks that jump up and down in the year of 2013, let alone playing such a game. Not only that, but how shockingly engaging this title is.
In “Thomas was Alone” you are literally a block that can jump platform to platform. It is such an interesting take on games because the block named Thomas has a personality. See Thomas was a block that was not too tall, not to short, he could jump an average distance, but not too far. Thomas was lonely and wished for friends. Then came along Chris, a block that was short and could not jump high. Thomas needed to help Chris achieve higher locations and Thomas felt he was holding him back, he did not like Chris. This is how the story is told. With a great dialogue that not only gives each block in the game a personality, but it actually pushes you through every level and chapter of the game. You want to know what happens to Thomas, Chris, John, and all of the other characters in the game. Whether it is the witty humor or the unfolding of the story this game proves that you can make a great character out of anything whether it be a few pixels or one million pixels. Oddly the dialogue is engaging, artistic, and a one of a kind. We talk about Journey and Flower but move over because Thomas was Alone joins these highly praised games. The only problem came near the end of the game as you learn more about Thomas’s world. As things start to change it loses a sense of development that you grew to love in the game. Not that you won’t like what happens in the ending sequences of the game, it just was not near as engaging as what lead to it but also wrapped up the story for an overall great story told as if in a children’s storybook.
Each character in the game has different abilities and different shapes so you will need to use the whole team of blocks to complete each level. Chris is short so he can slide into locations to press buttons that others couldn’t reach where as John is tall and athletic and can reach the highest locations. The other blocks will climb on each other and assist each other to make it up each stair on a specific level to reach the end where each block has to fit in their own unique finish. Some blocks can jump high, some low, some can swim, and some can be used as trampolines. The jumping can be a little stiff at time with your odd sliding squares and it can be annoying at times with the wonky physics or the aggravating way to switch back and forth from character to character, but the game isn’t hard either so it isn’t as if you will be back tracking much. As I just stated the game is not really challenging in the sense of a platformer, but the puzzles will at least give you room to think in the game, even if not for long. While the gameplay is not revolutionary or superb, the unique attributes of each block and the puzzles still leave something to be desired. And the dialogue makes up for every flaw this game has. Even the graphics which is simple is not by any means ugly either.
This was a shockingly great game and the experience cannot be explained. Much like Journey this is something that I believe you need to play on your own. It may not be a game that you go bragging to your friends about for the gameplay or graphics but the story and the character progression is better than a lot of AAA games that we are given today. With 100 levels and a great story I would recommend this to anybody. If you are lucky you may even be able to pick this game up on the Steam sale for less than $5.