Thomas Was Alone is a simplistic and charming indie game with a distinctive concept. The story is based on a range of shapes with unique personalities that all behave differently. The shapes all have their own names but don’t talk, instead the game is narrated throughout.
The idea of the game is to get all the shapes into their corresponding portals to move on to the next level. Each shape has its own colour, name, personality and ability. For example John is a long yellow rectangle that can leap high while Laura is a pink horizontal rectangle that can bounce any shape that jumps onto her. You can control a number of shapes within a level and work them together in order to complete the level.
There are 10 sets of 10 levels to complete, each set of levels introduces a new character to the game. By the time you reach the end you have control of a varied range of characters. There are also little black squares called ‘trophy pickups’ to find that are littered around the levels. It adds a little bit of replay value to go back and collect them all.
Controls are pretty tight, trying to land a jump on a small space can only fail by your own ability. One fault is there seems to be a slight delay in the push of the button to the on screen jump which is not noticeable until you try and move and jump off the very edge of the object. You could swear that you nailed it as you tumble to the floor. That isn’t much of a problem though as they seem to give you enough leeway to not have to time your jumps so accurately.
The game looks incredible with minimalism and contrast the main theme. Think of Limbo with squares and you get TWA. The soundtrack is a mixture of soft piano, guitar and electronic sounds that filters through the TWA universe. The sound effects are very retro but don’t feel dated with jump sounds that wouldn’t sound out of place from the Atari era. The narration is very well done with a well casted vocal talent and an underlying humour that props up the script.
The game is single player only with support for global leader boards. You might want to try and compete to get the quickest level completion times but there’s not much of an urge to do so. You will find a few enjoyable hours playing this even if the gameplay is quite simple. The game also supports Cross-Buy so if you buy it for the PS3, you will also get the Vita version for free and vice versa. Pick the game up off of the PSN for £5.99/$9.99