,

Reviewing the Indies: Thomas was Alone

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas, was alone.
But not for long.

I like complicated games. The top titles I fell in love with last year were the Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and Gone Home, which will get its own review soon. Sometimes though, complicated titles that deal with survival, meta theories about gaming, or dealing with your sexuality can take its toll. Sometimes you don’t need sweeping landscapes or intimately detailed environments. Hell, in rare occasions, a game doesn’t even need voice actors/actresses to tell a great story.

Sometimes, all you need to make a fantastic game with a great story is a bunch of polygons and a quirky narrator. This is exactly what Thomas was Alone is all about.

Simple Platforming Goodness
Platforming hasn’t been such a big thing since 3D environments have gotten bigger. 2D titles are rare, few, and are usually indie too. Thomas was Alone doesn’t buck that trend much. Everything about this game screams minimalism, and the gameplay really builds on that foundation. Sure, the levels are as simple as black platforms with a few animations in the background, but what impressed me is how the developers made use of that limited space.

I got to use every one of the characters’ abilities to their full extent, and then some. Later in the game, you’ll end up with a character that is basically the anti-gravity version of Thomas. Basically, it was one helluva trippy batch of levels, and it only got more complicated when the normal characters get mixed in.

Thomas Was Alone

The Point
What are really nice about this title weren’t the gorgeous but simple visuals. It was the gameplay. In Thomas was Alone, narration mattered. You didn’t need some digital sergeant to tell you where to go, and you never wanted one anyway. The game is several shades of self-referential, but it needs to be. Much of the title’s most hilarious moments are when they talk about Internet memes and even Nathan Fillion.

But another thing that got me about the game is that it tells a story that isn’t trying to be ironic or cynical. On the contrary, it’s trying to conjure up emphatic responses by making a bunch of 2D shapes relatable. I didn’t get that from Watch Dogs, nor any other triple A game to come out this year.

We all start alone, but when we try, our efforts no matter how pointless or hard they may be, might result in something good. Hell, along the way we might even meet some people who are just as crazy as we are.

Thomas was alone is brilliant in my books so I suggest getting it right now. It’s pretty cheap on steam and is often a favored title for when Humble Bundles come out.

Country Boy ethics with too much vague rhetoric. Plus video games, rap, rock, and films.