Most of them time, if someone’s playing with small, multicolored, multi-sized blocks, that someone is a child. Bossa Studios came in to put a stop to that with Thomas Was Alone, making it A-okay for people of all ages to play with blocks again.
Thomas is a red rectangle, and he is alone. He’s a curious fellow, however, so he goes on an adventure in search of companionship, and what he finds is a beautiful story. Typically with iOS games, the story is just fluff with some hopefully pretty pictures, but here we get a story that unexpectedly grabs players by their little heart strings and plays a symphony with them. Thomas Was Alone pulls you in, making you care about each and every little block as they make friends… and sometimes enemies.
As a whole, Thomas Was Alone is very simplistic, which is part of what makes it so special. While it may not have complicated character/level designs and backgrounds, it nails the basics of what makes a great game. During Thomas’ adventures you play as various shapes, each with its own name and story. The shapes have to work together, using their different strengths to make it from one end of a level to the other, across large bodies of water, spikes, stairs and large gaps. A gentle British narrator describes the story as you progress through the level, giving a delightful, storybook-feel to everything you do.
The story begins with Thomas, who can jump really high and far, and as you progress new characters are introduced. Chris, who can only jump a short distance, and Claire, who discovers her superpower of being able to float in water, are just a few that have to pool their talents together to get across each level. The gameplay is great at making each block vital to the others, building a real sense of camaraderie. Players have to use that brain of theirs to figure out how each block can help the others when there’s a particularly large gap, small space, climb or huge body of water blocking the way. It’s just enough of a challenge without being ridiculously hard. Each level varies in length, but most come in at under five minutes, making it easy to pick up and play for as little or as long as you’ve got time.
Everything about Thomas Was Alone is soothing and fun. The music is calm and pleasant, and the humble, but crisp, graphics create a relaxed atmosphere. Even though the controls are simple, an explanation on how to use them is provided at the beginning of the first few levels to vanquish any doubt or confusion. The best part— They. Are. Spot. On. The controls are wonderfully precise, with no lag to frustrate you.
Thomas Was Alone is freakin’ fantastic. It has an engaging story, vibrant and memorable graphics, and well thought out gameplay that will make it hard to stop playing. It’s a great purchase for gamers of all shapes and sizes.
This review was completed using a purchased download of Thomas Was Alone for iOS.