Thomas Was Alone may be a platformer starring a bunch of squares and rectangles, but it packs in more character and humour than many games featuring humanoid protagonists. We review the iOS version for iPad…
The titular Thomas, a red rectangle that’s been blessed with the power to move and jump around, doesn’t stay alone too long. In fact, Thomas is actually one of a number of four-sided shapes you take control of in this quirky and hilarious platform game, and we were pretty surprised at how much personality these faceless heroes convey.
Each of the different shapes comes with its own name, and the fully-voiced narration that pops up in every level conveys what the angular heroes are thinking. Our favourite was the disgruntled stubby square called Chris, who harbours some serious animosity for the more athletic Thomas. The rest of the cast is just as memorable however, and each character has its own particular strengths and weaknesses. Chris can’t jump too high, but he’s short enough to squeeze through most gaps, while the enormous self-proclaimed superhero Claire is the only one who can survive in water.
In each level you have direct control over a few of the shapes, able to swap between them with just a tap of their image. You can move left and right and jump, and with these basic controls – and some serious thought – you need to guide every character to their final goal. The only way to succeed is teamwork. Claire can carry the others across liquidy obstacles on her back, for instance, and you’ll often have to stack the cast to allow lesser-abled members to climb up tricky heights.
The levels are well thought-out and strangely relaxing to play, while the hilarious commentary, which pokes fun at other platformers as well as itself, made us smile and even chuckle throughout. Even if you’re a bit weary with all the platform games that have seeped out onto iPad recently, Thomas Was Alone is well worth a punt, if you can afford the steep asking price.