Thomas Was Alone v1.1 - THETA (Win/MacOSX)
Year: 2012 | PC | English | Publisher: Mike Bithell | Developer: Mike Bithell | 105+120 MB
Thomas Was Alone is a game in which you guide varying types of quadrelateral from A to B no, thats not it. Thomas Was Alone has you use your characters skills to advance through the levels hmm, thats not it, either. Thomas Was Alone is an examination of existentialist ideas about identity and purpose crumbs, thats a bit too pretentious.
As you can see, Thomas Was Alone is a difficult game to get a handle on. On the surface its a rudimentary platformer that offers little challenge. Its levels arent complex, usually only a matter of jumping your rectangular character over some toxic water, or up a set of stairs, to get to the finish point.
So in that respect, Thomas Was Alone is a very simple game.
The levels become more developed as you unlock more characters: a small square that can go through crawl spaces that the other characters are too tall for, or the tall rectangle that can jump higher than all the others, or the fat square that is the only character who can float without drowning. But, because the obstacles are so visually clear as to which character is able to pass them, it never offers much of a challenge. If theres a large stretch of water, then you must switch your control to the large square and move it into the water, and have all the other shapes use it as a boat to get to the other side.
The whole process can become a little fiddly and repetitive: move block A, switch to block B, move block B, switch to C, move, repeat. As a style of play it feels arbitrarily drawn out. But to focus on this would be to miss the ace up Thomas Was Alones sleeve.
Below the surface theres a warm beating heart. I can tell its worked on me because it felt unnatural to write about Claire as the fat square or John as the tall rectangle. Theyve all got their own personalities. For instance, take our hero, Thomas: he sees this new world around him and is constantly curious as to his place in it. He recognises that it is pushing him; he starts to question the artificial construction of games. And yet hes never more than a simple pink rectangle that you guide to the finish of each level.
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