This game is what video games should be. At it's most basic, it is a puzzle/platformer consisting of "get your colored pegs into the proper holes" that invokes memories of classics like The Lost Vikings or Tetris. However, Thomas Was Alone is so much more than meets the eye. By navigating each individual shape through the level, the player can complete a stage by simultaeneously getting each shape to it's destination. A platformer without enemies, collectibles, combat, or even anything more than 90 degree angles and a jump button, Thomas Was Alone manages to enchant the player with a unique narrator who gives life to the various colored squares and in an inescapable way creates a strong attachment between the player and the "characters". It takes place in a computer mainframe, with each of the characters representing a piece of artificial intelligence software that has become self aware. I fell in love with the game and its absolutely phenomenal presentation after just a few levels of play. This is one of those games you don't want to finish, simply because reaching the end will be so heartbreaking. The unvoiced characters (each of which is only a differently colored square with varying properties) have found a permanent home in my heart as some of the richest and most colorful (pardon the pun) characters in any video game I've encountered. The OUTSTANDING music and the background art create an ambiance unlike any other, and the game quickly becomes impossible to put down. I haven't felt like this about a video game since I was a child, and I would gladly buy this game all over again. Mike Bithell has created a masterpiece, and I wish that every true gamer could have a chance to experience it. If there ever was a question as to whether video games can be art, let this be the shining example.
PROS: Highly entertaining, hard to put down, excellent difficulty level
CONS: Too short, many levels are overtly linear
GRAPHICS: 5/5 - The world is uniquely stylized and the animation is smooth and fluid.
SOUND: 5/5 - The music, produced by David Housden, is beautiful, and it suits the game perfectly. SFX to match.
STORY: 5/5 - The most entertaining and heartwarming game about shapes you will ever play.
GAMEPLAY: 5/5 - As previously mentioned, this game is impossible to put down.
REPLAY VALUE: 3/5 - A "one-and-done" style game, replayability is found in the achievements and hidden collectibles.
OVERALL SCORE: 92/100 - A must-play for those who truly love video games.
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Posted: November 25th, 2013