Thomas Was Alone – As We Play

Platform – iOS

Thomas was alone. Then he was on my computer, then my Vita, and now my iPad. Surprise! Developer Mike Bithell has teamed up with Bossa Studios to bring his BAFTA winning, million seller to the App Store and Mac App Store.

Thomas Was Alone is a charming tale of friendship and teamwork with a simple, pleasant graphic style and a pretty soundtrack. As you guide Thomas and the friends he meets through basic platforming puzzles, a story is told, voiced by that Danny Wallace off the tellys, and snippets of text display between levels.

'F' is for friends that do stuff together...

‘F’ is for friends that do stuff together…

One hour in and I’m grinning. It’s just right. That familiar music, the soothing narration, and characters who are faceless and silent but bursting with personality make Thomas an absolute pleasure to revisit. Controls are simple. Touch the on-screen arrows to move and the diamond to jump. You select characters by tapping their corresponding colour tabs on the sides of the screen. It makes me possibly overly excited. My mum could play this. My own mum who sits there on Bejeweled for hours while shunning other more complex games could possibly be tempted to try this version of Thomas, and experience a small taste of why people get so passionate about videogames.

It does get a little tricky in parts later on, though. There’s a bit of a challenge, here and there, but nothing really rage-inducing. It could have been, though. It could have so easily become another excruciatingly difficult yet impossible to put down indie platformer like Super Meat Boy or The Impossible Game, but that would have taken away from the warming atmosphere. Settling down to play Thomas for the third time is like opening an old favourite book.

Never fear! Super Claire is here!

It’s the characters that make the game so special. They’re coloured blocks of different shapes and sizes but they’re just so… human. Thomas doesn’t want to be alone. Chris is jealous because he can’t jump as high as the others. Claire is happiest when she’s helping those in need. They’re all completely endearing in their own way. The physical interaction between two of the characters seems to have been slightly changed for this version, and while it doesn’t affect difficulty it can make things feel a little tense for a moment or two.

Areas for Development

  • Umm, the game could come with free Jelly Beans?

Final Analysis

At £5.99 Thomas Was Alone is perhaps a little more expensive than people are used to when buying App Store games, but if you’ve never played it before please don’t let that put you off. It’ll take you around three-four hours to complete and you’ll no doubt be fond of the gang well before the end. It’s not a mind-blowing game, but it’s certainly a heart-warming one.

Technical Competency – 9/10
Graphic Quality – 9/10
Sound Quality– 9/10
Network Stability – N/A
Overall – 9/10