Thomas Was Alone Reviews

TSA Score for this game: 466
Posted on 16 May 17 at 04:53, Edited on 16 May 17 at 05:02
This review has 3 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
Thomas Was Alone [Review by Uzzbuzz]

Thomas Was Alone is a 2d puzzle platformer where the player is thrown into a world of sentient AI blocks, each with their own specialities, starting with Thomas. The AI are not meant to reach each other, and progressing through the game unlocks more AIs to play as to help Thomas move forward. Essentially, the goal of the game is to get to a point of coexistence with the humans.

Mechanics/Gameplay - The game starts off as a simple platformer with simple visuals and levels. You start off with Thomas, the most bland of the AI in terms of ability; he just has a singular standard jump. I spoke too soon; the next AI you get does just that, but with a lower jump, but there’s a new addition to the basic mechanics by making you need to use both AIs in order to jump over certain obstacles. Every ability in this game was designed to make the players rely on using a mixture of the AI in order to get all of them to their designated locations on the level. For example, later on you get a block which can swim, and is also large so it can carry other blocks on it that would normally drown. There is another block which is almost flat so it can slide under low areas and be used as a trampoline to boost the other AI around.

Thomas was alone worked pretty well, though the controls were a little bit touchy at first. There is no super precise platforming required as the game is story driven so it’s more about solving problems with your team of AI rather than a hardcore platforming experience. Even though there are quite a few different characters, there is nothing quite innovative in terms of mechanics or gameplay here. I never encountered any bugs while playing through this game. 6.5/10

Fun Factor - I am a bit bias here, as I’m not one to tend to focus on story elements so much. Sure, I had fun and enjoyed it, but if you’re looking for a (platformer) game, this would not be my first choice. Buy this game if you want an experience where the actual skill/brain involvement is minimal, but the emotional connection to these little block creatures is real. The length is fair (about 2-3 hours for all achievements), as any longer and I probably would have been bored of the limited mechanics, but it was an enjoyable experience. 5.5/10

Graphics/Animation - Simple vector shapes make up the entirety of this game. The fact that the developer can make you care about these characters that are simply just different colored shapes really says a lot, but on their own, the graphics do not stand out. Animations are plain as well. Nothing to really excite you, as it is a minimalistic game. Each character is given their own distinct color, and a majority of walls and obstacles are solid black. Overall the graphics are easy on the eyes, but nothing to write home about. 3/10

Music/Sound - The music and sounds in this game are beautiful. Moreso the music than the sound effects, since the sound effects seem like they were just made by a generic sound maker, but they fit the style of the game so it works out. The music is often a calming piece used to relax the player while they play. Since the game is already really relaxing to play casually, the music complements this further. There is a narrator who tells the player something about the story almost every level in the game. The quality of the sound in the narrator’s voice is really well done and it keeps the game entertaining even if you’re not so much of a story person like myself. 7/10

Replayability - Pretty much nonexistent. The achievements for collectibles can add an extra 30-60 minutes to the game, but other than that, there is not much more to the game. Sure, you can replay it for the story now and again, but it’s never the same as the first time, and the gameplay is not entertaining enough to really warrant going back. 2.5/10

Level Design - This is where the game shines (relative to the other categories). The puzzle/level design is one of the redeeming factors of this game, and one of the reasons you should pick it up on sale. Almost all of the puzzles require coordinated use of the characters you currently have. Often, this just means using the others as stepping stones, which is not so fun. But, there are a few times where the puzzles make you feel really smart once you get them without being too easy. That balance is something a lot of puzzle games, including this one, struggle with. I personally never had much trouble with any of the puzzles, so perhaps it could be a bit more difficult, but that is not what the developer was going for. They wanted to tell a story, and they succeeded. In the end, none of the puzzles are groundbreaking, but they do incorporate the limited abilities of the players well, without being too easy. 7.5/10

Achievements - The achievements can be broken up into three categories: mechanical, level-based, and collectible. For the few mechanical achievements, they involve the player jumping a certain amount of times, or dying, etc.

There are achievements for beating each level (starting the subsequent level) and for finishing the game, which will come fairly quickly. Finally, there are collectable achievements. For these ones, some levels have a collectible which often require the player to solve an extra lite-puzzle to get to. These are fairly straightforward, and you see most of them just for going through the levels. The game even tells you which level they are on since there is an achievement for each one.

Overall, a nice variety for what the game has to offer, but they are a fairly standard platformer set of achievements. 5/10

This game is quite overpriced in my opinion for the amount of content, but I would recommend getting it if there’s a fairly large discount or if it ever appears in a bundle again. Worth playing once, but probably not more than that.

+ Varied puzzle design and mechanics
+ Calm soundtrack

- Minimal replayability
- Unoriginal (excluding story)
- Minimalistic graphics

Overall Score: 5.3/10
Please log in to comment on this solution.