WeView: Thomas Was Alone

Mike Bithell hit the big time with his sidescrolling platformer, Thomas Was Alone. While it may seem like a simple game, there’s a rather complex plot under the surface, and some brilliant narration from Danny Wallace which really makes Thomas a great story-based game.

Each of the playable shapes have personalities, you see, with names making them seem more like real characters than some humans found in other games. Mike’s working on his second project now, Volume, and we’ll have an interview with him on that later this week, but that doesn’t mean we can’t reminisce about Thomas.

The game worked really well on the Vita, I thought, allowing you to switch between the characters with relative ease on the touch screen, and the little system feeling like a perfect fit for the tone of the game.

While the platforming might seem simple, some of the later levels were deceptively tricky, with the main characters having to co-operate in order to reach their individual exit portals. It’s just a really great game to play, and one which has received plenty of acclaim.

Jim scored the game 9/10 in his review, highlighting just how emotive and clever the game was:

When the curtain finally closed on Thomas Was Alone, I couldn’t help but feel touched. Despite being two-dimensional in appearance, the game’s cast of characters exuded more personality and depth than that of some games propped up by millions of dollars of development funding.

I completely agree with Jim’s points, and think I’ll have to revisit the game soon, especially after speaking to Mike at EGX late last week. Of course, it might not be for everyone, but since it was free on PlayStation Plus (and is regularly on Steam or Humble Bundle sales very often) you can let us know what you thought.

To do so, simply leave a comment below with a short review of the game, summing up all your thoughts on Thomas. If you’re lucky (and you get your review in by Sunday) then we’ll include you in our weekly Verdict round-up.

Don’t forget to include a rating for the game. Since it’s a downloadable title, the options are slightly different this week. You can choose Buy It if it’s worth the full price, Sale It if you think it’s worth picking up in a Steam or PSN sale, Plus It if you think it’s only worth picking up for free on PlayStation Plus or Avoid It if you weren’t a fan of the rectangles.


  1. Buy It. Great little indie game with simple but engrossing gameplay. Loved how the narrative made you care about the fate of these little blocks. Worked brilliantly on the VITA.

  2. It sounds great, and looks a lot better than it has any right to look, what with being a game about rectangles.

    Unfortunately, it’s far too easy. Every time you’re introduced to a new friend, you’re just getting used to how it works and what fiendish challenges it could lead to, and then another new friend pops up and it gets easy again. Never quite pushes things far enough.

    But still quite good fun. So get it in a sale. Unless you did the “pretend to download it while it’s free on PS+” thing and it’s waiting to be downloaded. In which case, do that. I think that makes my vote “Sale It”, but I’m not entirely sure.

  3. It’s a simple and fairly easy puzzle game that could easily have been released unnoticed were it not for the absolutely wonderful narration and brilliant story about a revolution in a hidden world. It’s great, indie at its best, Buy It!

    • I concur.

      Love it, buy it!

    • Got nothing to add to this description. Just buy it!

    • buy…

  4. I would say SALE IT at the current price. It’s a solid game with a strong story reinforced by the philosophy of becoming sentient, learning, exploring a new world, and encountering entities different than you; basically it’s an essence of life in a distinct visual approach, with great narration.

    All that’s great, but it’s in game form. Therefore it would’ve been nice for more complex puzzles and game-play. Instead it got tiring towards the end flicking between squares and moving them one at a time. Hence that’s why I say sale it.

  5. BUY IT!!!
    If you are a fan of story driven games this is a must have.

  6. Buy it. It’s a great game. I expected to play it for 5 minutes before deleting after releasing on Ps+. I was totally addicted to it for the few hours, of great entertainment.

  7. This is a game that I enjoyed this summer while working in a nearby city. The 30 minute train ride was good for this game. It allowed me to progress a good chunk of a chapter and get a good amount of the funny narration about and between the characters. So good that it even made me chuckle out loud a few times only to make the sad and boring people on the train raise a eyebrow at me.

    The game is never so hard that it gets in the way of the storytelling, story/gameflow feels great.

    If this game wasn’t already on PS Plus I would …BUY IT… without hesitation.

  8. Buy it yesterday. Never have the square pegged been so rounded. Beautiful.

  9. Been voting for this for ages, so glad it’s finally come up! I picked this up in the sale, so can’t really complain too much, but if I’d spent a tenner or however much it costs, I’d be somewhat annoyed. The concept is good, I like it’s simplicity, the script/narration is amusing, it has that quirky indie feel, but poor level design means it’s just far too easy and therefore way too short. I love puzzle games, Cuboid is still one of my all-time favourite PSN games, so overall I found this a pretty disappointing experience, especially after all the hype it received. Bargain bin if you want to see what all the fuss is about, but in all honesty, avoid it and get something with more longevity and replay value.

  10. Yes it’s easy, but so was Journey. Achieved the impossible and made me like Danny Wallace. Buy it (especially the Vita version)

    • Journey wasn’t trying to be a puzzle game though.

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