Thomas Was Alone (Vita) Review
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 you’ll 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. It’s not complex, and is something you’ve seen with a lot of other platformers.
Even the puzzles introduced aren’t 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 game’s 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 Thomas’ ability to jump and Claire, the large, floating square, deciding she’s a superhero because she’s 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 it’s platforming you’ve seen before in dozens of other games with a lot more complexity. Thomas Was Alone isn’t a thinking man’s 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.
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. It’s easy to pick up and enjoyable to all.
|Graphics||7.0||The simplistic graphics get the job done, but the impact by them is multiplied by the backgrounds and music.|
|Gameplay||9.5||The gameplay is solid, but the narration does an amazing job of adding life and personality to faceless squares.|
|Sound||8.5||The soundtrack is great and really helps play up the story and environment.|
|Lasting Appeal||7.0||There’s 100 levels to go through which will take a few hours. After that, though, there’s not a lot of a reason to go back through.|
|Fun Factor||8.5||I really kept going through this game because the narration hooked me, and will probably hook a lot of readers out there as well.|
|Overall||8.1 [ Very Good ] legend|