Thomas Was Alone is a poignant platformer that explores the concept of what makes a game
As a small red rectangle appears on the first level, the game states “Thomas was alone. Wow. A weird first thought to have.” This is your introduction to a game that not just challenges you with making your way from left to right but also the whole concept of games themselves.
As you move Thomas, the eponymous rectangle around, you must jump and fall (Thomas is very good at falling) to make your way to the portals and on to the next area. As it progresses, more colorful shapes are introduced and you must use them together to advance.
Controlling your blocks is handled with the usual on-screen controls. On the left are the direction arrows while on the right you tap a diamond to jump. To switch between the different shapes you must tap the corresponding colored slithers on either side of the screen. Unfortunately these can be hard to tap and instead of swapping characters you end up jumping. This can be extremely frustrating when you do need to swap quickly but end up failing.
Throughout a voiceover accompanies you and relays the story. These musings are often funny and make you laugh out loud as you play along. If you’ve ever played Portal before, you’ll be instantly familiar with the sarcastic style of humor although it’s not so insulting. The accompanying atmospheric music also helps to transport you to the lonely world of Thomas.
The levels are varied throughout Thomas Was Alone and the new characters introduce new challenges. Each level requires you to use your brain power to figure out how to reach the necessary portals. If you do mess up then you can quickly restart the level or some have checkpoints that your assorted polygons will respawn at.
The app itself is not much to look at but instead uses the colors of the blocks to stand out from the surrounding gloom. It may not be the prettiest looking game you’ll play, but it suits the iPad perfectly. With a couple of hours needed to complete it too this is a great game to pick up and play when you have some down time.
Size: 149 MB
Platform: iOS Universal