THOMAS WAS ALONE (but he really isn’t) is a platforming puzzle game that borders on tedium as you guide a few block ‘characters’ to their respective exits. Everything is a block or cubes, straight out of what would look like Atari, but with modern improvements so you don’t notice the lack of textures. Things like lighting, good simple, yet dynamic backgrounds and the fact that the level always looks to be at a slight tilt. While it might not stand out visually, the game has good mellow and trippy background music that is just soothing to complete each level. There is also a well voiced narrator that just talks over a few parts of the levels to give the characters life when really, they’re just blocks. There is quite a lot of fan art for these ‘characters.’
The controls are really as simple as they can be. So simple, you don’t even need a controller. Arrows to move the character, a jump button and buttons to switch to the next or previous character.
Its all nice on the eyes and the ears, the only real problem is this is just tedious. Each character has their own unique style. Some are short and can fit where others cant. Some are tall, some float. You can use characters as stepping stones so they can make it up ledges and this is where the game hits a tedium. Imagine to make it up a ledge, you need to use 2 characters so that the short character can make it up. Then do that 5 times and 5 more times before the end of the level. Sure its not every level, but it really feels dull having to switch between 3 characters, get them in position just to ensure 1 of them gets to his exit. It gets into the realm of being a chore. Sure it doesn’t take that long to complete each area, nor is it difficult, but it just feels slow having to use 3 characters to make it the slightest bit further. I don’t feel any sense of accomplishment getting to the next level.
To make up for that though, the game has frequent checkpoints…. especially right before dumb deaths. Deaths that might have 1 character standing on top of a floating character, but when you jump out of the water as the floating character, the character on top flies into a bed of spikes. Well, luckily the game knows this will usually happen, so there’s a checkpoint right behind it. Another plus that the game has is instant respawn. It keeps you going like Super Meat Boy. This helps the game a lot.
You won’t find any enemies in Thomas, only friends to aid you… and instant death traps like water and spikes. The game is very straight forward, jump and avoid death traps. Use friends to get to different areas, hit switches to change areas.
Thomas is a game full of easy achievements. Maybe an hour for 15 achievements and 2 or 3 hours for the entire game to be complete. There’s no real replay value here, the collectables are out in the open and easily obtained.
There are other platforming puzzle games that are better challenges, that feel less like a chore to complete. However, because of the music, narrator and the simplicity, it is a very soothing stress reliever to play.