Guide a group of rectangles through a series of obstacles, using their different skills together to get to the end of each environment.
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (5,444 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 12, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"This is a game that will make you care about puzzle-platforming with coloured blocks because a British man talks about them a lot."
Read the full review here.

Reviews

“For all its charm, Thomas is more than just the super-minimalist-yet-incredibly-engaging tales of a few plucky AIs. It's the story of games. Of how they get made and played, of the joys and frustrations they bring and of the thousands of tiny iterative processes that go into evolving single titles and the entire medium into their best forms.”
Evan Narcisse, Kotaku

“It proves that you don't need tens of millions of dollars and hundreds of staff to make a game story worth telling, just a good hook, an engaging vision, and a whole lot of heart.”
9/10 – Josh Tolentino, Destructoid

“The understated aesthetic design and unusual co-op puzzles will absorb you for the game’s duration – the wit and personality of the writing, though, will stay with you for much longer.”
8/10 – Keza MacDonald, IGN

About This Game

Thomas Was Alone, and then, Well, he Wasn't.

Thomas Was Alone is an indie minimalist 2D platformer about friendship and jumping and floating and anti-gravity. Guide a group of rectangles through a series of obstacles, using their different skills together to get to the end of each environment.
Listen to awesome music by David Housden. Jump over rectangles meticulously placed by Mike Bithell. Listen to voiceover read wistfully and a bit amusingly by Danny Wallace.


Thomas Was Alone tells the story of the world's first sentient AIs, and how they worked together to, well, not escape: Escape is a strong word. 'Emerge' might be better. 'Emerge' has an air of importance about it, while keeping the myriad plot twists and superhero origin stories you'll discover under wraps. We didn't even mention the bouncing. That'd be overkill.

Key Features


  • Beat 100 levels, and uncover the story of the AIs.
  • Utilize the unique skills of 10+ characters.
  • Immerse yourself in David Housden's critically acclaimed procedural score.
  • Chuckle along to Danny Wallace's narration.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:500 Mhz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • DirectX®:7.0
    • Hard Drive:400 MB HD space
    Minimum:
    • OS:OS X 10.5
    • Processor:500 Mhz
    • Memory:1 GB RAM
    • Hard Drive:400 MB HD space
Helpful customer reviews
292 of 325 people (90%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
4.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 22, 2014
A game where you cry at Geometry.
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222 of 256 people (87%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 26, 2014
Made me emotionally attached to geometrical shapes.

12/10
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223 of 274 people (81%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
Yes, videogames are art. Debate over.
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68 of 69 people (99%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 26, 2014
Thomas Was Alone is a truly indie gem.

In this game you guide a group of rectangles, each one with a unique skill, through dozens of puzzle-platformer levels. There's a beautiful story about friendship and cooperation that will let you hooked on the screen. The music, composed by David Housden, is touching and helps to create an incredible immersive feeling. Thomas Was Alone last just a few hours, but it's very enjoyable if you like this genre.

I've always seen this game on sale but never bought it until I see it in a bundle of my interest. Don't do like I did. If you really love the concept of games as an art, you should play Thomas Was Alone right now. It's fantastic!
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97 of 111 people (87%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: January 7, 2014
☺ Interesting, witty and engaging story.
☺ Lovely, minimalist art style.
☺ Good puzzle platforming.

☹ Not very challenging gameplay.
☹ A little short.

Thomas Was Alone is a lovely and engaging platformer from start to finish that tells the tale of some plucky AI figuring out their place in the minimalist world they see themselves in. It features some good puzzles based around your team of AI working together to overcome the obstacles before them, each with their own unique ability and personality (which really shines through, despite being simple shapes, thanks to the narration work of Danny Wallace and some good writing).

While a little on the short side, it does manage to stay focused without any padding - although I would have liked the game to have continued for a bit longer with escalating difficulty. The game is quite slow paced with a soothing soundtrack which compliments the minimalist style and produces a rather relaxing experience which is topped off with decent controls that never caused frustration.

While easily recommended for fans of slower paced 2D platformers and those people who like a well written story, the length of the game (and lack of replayabilty) means I'd suggest waiting for a sale.
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77 of 83 people (93%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 23, 2014
Beautiful game. Go for it. An experience you'll never forget. The rectangles are not just rectangles, they really connect with you. You'll get that warm fuzzy feeling inside once you finish the game. Now downloading the amazing soundtrack. 9/10 easily
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97 of 114 people (85%) found this review helpful
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Thomas Was Alone is an indie title that fuses puzzle elements with basic platforming and minimalist visuals. You see, Thomas is a block. Thomas and all of the other characters he will meet along the way in fact are all blocks. All of the blocks are trapped in a construct of sorts. Learning their individual purposes. Along the way, you will not so much be guided, as instead enchanted by the wonderful narration you will hear throughout each level. Reminiscent of the narration you may hear in Stanely's Parable or Bastion. Not so much to hep you as to instead tell a story. And that is exactly what the narrator in TWA does, and does it well indeed.

The game may appear to be a platformer, but honestly the platforming takes a back seat to the puzzle structure of the game. Each block has a different ability. Whether it be how the block moves, what the block can do, or the shape of the block, each block when paired with another can overcome different obstacles. One block may act as a floatation device, while another can be a trampoiline of sorts. You can line up blocks to act as stepping stones for other blocks that can not jump high. And so on and so forth. You are able to seamlessly switch between blocks at ease, so the flow of the game is never broken.

There are quite a few stages, but each seems to be over way too quickly, leaving you wishing they fleshed the game out more, since it really is a fun and unique idea for this genre. Hopefully we get a sequel to this one day, with maybe a little stronger emphasis on the platforming.

Visually, the game is about as simple as you can get in design. Everything is block based. And the colors are simple. The only thing I saw that really stood out was the nice use of lighting and shadows in a 2D world.


Pros
- Fun puzzle elements
- Fantastic narration of the game

Cons
- Short game
- Platforming is easy
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71 of 82 people (87%) found this review helpful
3.9 hrs on record
Posted: June 25, 2014
Simplicity, a lot of heart, good intentions, and a fantastic voice full of personality...

How can it be that you end considering some squares your friends???

Maybe we are never alone.
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54 of 58 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
16.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 26
THOMAS WAS ALONE - A beautiful, minimalist indie 2D puzzle/platformer.

|| 8.5 ||
Score Comment
Graphics 8 Simple but pleasing, using clean lines and shapes to form the game levels. Game Characters are also simple shapes with different colours but are easily identifiable. Background colours and effects have a different pallet for each level. The overall effect is minimalist, stylish and elegant.
Audio 10 Relaxing ambient background music throughout the game and excellent story narration by Danny Wallace (He won a BAFTA for his performance). There really is nothing to fault here.
Gameplay 9 Thomas was alone has simple and intuitive controls that respond well, giving good control of your characters. Levels start simply and get progressively more difficult at a fairly steady rate. I don't ever recall feeling overwhelmed at any point and play remained very enjoyable throughout the game. As you progress the game does a good job of introducing you to new concepts that you need to complete the levels like controlling various elements (doors, gravity, etc) through various pressure and trigger switches. Also as you progress you meet and gain control of other characters (besides Thomas) each of which have their own unique properties and abilities. You will often find that you will need to employ skill & logic as well as a bit of trial and error to successful navigate levels but fortunately the game does not punish you for failing, so play always seems fun.
Story 9 I really didn't expect any kind of story from a puzzle platform game, especially not one where the characters are just little shapes, but despite this what I got was a brilliant one. A delightful little story that builds with each level and makes you really care about what happens to your little shapes. Each one has their own unique characters, fears, desires and personalities. Their struggles to survive and escape the unfair system that imprisons them and which is constantly changing the rules in its efforts to defeat them.
Replayability 6 By the end of the game you will have mastered some pretty advanced skills and will remember many of the puzzles solutions, this makes some of the earlier levels feel very easy. The game is of a fairly good length but because its so enjoyable you will no doubt be left wanting more. There are various steam achievements (small black hollow rectangles) scattered throughout various levels and going back to find these will add to the playtime. Levels are re-playable after you have completed them making it a good game for quick casual play.
Overall
8.5 A little gem of an indie game, charming and enjoyable, it leaves you wanting more - would highly recommend.

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Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
59 of 69 people (86%) found this review helpful
3.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 19, 2013
Yes this is a game about squares and rectangles, but it's also so much more than that. The heart and soul of Thomas Was Alone is its story of friendship, learning to believe in yourself, and never settling for just OK. Groan worthy as that may sound, developer and writer Mike Bithell deftly avoids the pretentious and heavy handed pitfalls that have proven to be so easy to fall into, and manages to craft a narrative that is touching, funny, and unquestionably charming from start to finish.

Equal if not greater credit for this also has to go to Danny Wallace for his spot on voice acting which includes a liberal amount of British wit, that brought to life these quadrilateral characters in a way that despite being a tired phrase, can only be described as a triumph! When the end came after just over two hours, I was saddened not because I felt unsatisfied or that it was too short, but merely wanted to spend more time with these characters I had so quickly come to love.

Even if forgoing the story, TWA is still a very clever puzzle platformer that near perfectly balances the difficulty to rarely be frustrating but always satisfying. The levels have been thoughtfully planned without any filler to speak of, which made for no obvious stopping points and instead keep the adventure rolling. What I feel is most remarkable though is how ingeniously gameplay is blended with story, building upon each other and proving impossible to separate without sacrificing what makes the various components so great. This to me is what defines a great videogame story; something that couldn't be achieved the same way in any other medium and was built with this understanding in mind.

Unlike the dozens of simplistic flash games that use similarly primitive shapes as placeholders or out of sheer laziness, here much care has been put into each block and area to make them both unique and memorable, result is not the least bit unpleasant to look at. From the subtle jump animations to the impressive lighting, upon further inspection TWA is much more detailed than it first appears, and with the engrossing soundtrack the presentation across the board is simply a treat.

I'm sure if I tried I could find something to nitpick about, but there's no need for me to as that is all it would be. I absolutely loved every moment of Thomas Was Alone, and you would be hard pressed to stop me from recommending to almost everyone. Mike Bithell did a cracking fine job in every regard, and I'm ever so thankful he was able and willing to share it with me. Now I hope to do the same and that this prompts you to take a moment if you haven't to meet Thomas, who as it turns out was most certainly not alone.
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56 of 68 people (82%) found this review helpful
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
At its root, Thomas Was Alone is a very basic puzzle platformer that isn't challenging or interesting. But add some narrative, give these abstract objects a name, a personality, add some soothing music, and it creates a very personable environment that feels almost human.

It's kind of fascinating how a very simple puzzle game can become quite memorable by adding a little personality and music. Add up all the pieces and Thomas Was Alone turns out to be quite an enjoyable puzzle adventure.
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41 of 47 people (87%) found this review helpful
10.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2013
This game is brilliant. It's more than a puzzle game, it has character. It has one of the best, little stories I've encountered in a game so far. I couldn't wait to get to the next level, to discover the new blocks and how they'll interact with each other. It's a game about friendship and teamwork and about having fun. The music is amazing and combined with the narrator, they add that character to the game and the replay value.
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33 of 37 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 20, 2014
This is a platformer/puzzle game. You have to take some blocks (each one with a different color, shape and skill) to their shadows. Some stages are easy, some stages are very hard and some stages are very frustrating. The puzzles are well created and very challenging. The game visuals are great and the gameplay is easy and simple. I believe it's easier using a controller. Great sound effect, music and voice. Really enjoyed this game and hope they do a sequel. Didn't want it to end. I recommend!
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46 of 59 people (78%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
0.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 20, 2014
Thomas wasn't alone at all.
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36 of 47 people (77%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 26, 2014
Very nice atmospheric game, i just love the narration in it.

10/10
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28 of 34 people (82%) found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
Posted: July 10, 2013
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.
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25 of 30 people (83%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2014
This game's artwork is fantastic. Its a really basic but fun game. Short though...

Great narration whoever did it.
9.5/10
You need more levels.
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24 of 30 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 18, 2014
"Psychoanalysis of colored jumping blocks".

I don't remember any of the colored blocks and which names they have. Just Thomas is in average height and with average jumping abilities. Thomas, the orange block and main character of this weird little jump'n' run adventure.

Although this game has minimalistic graphics, the look and feel is very impressive and unique.
The background music is chillout, but for mainly the narrator tells you an endless monologue of friendship and relationship between different blocks. It becomes pretty philosophic like "which is the purpose of life?" or "who am I really?" But you mustn't ever follow the story. Rather concentrate on the challenging jump sequences and sometimes occuring logical puzzles and you'll beat this not too hard game perfectly in a few hours.

In the end, I certain don't reveal too much, Thomas wasn't alone ...
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17 of 18 people (94%) found this review helpful
10.3 hrs on record
Posted: August 8, 2013
Thomas Was Alone is a really fun and innovative platformer that's definitely not trying to be more than what it is. Aesthetically this game employs a nice desaturated but diverse color palette that I like. The use of lights, shadows, and other visual subtleties are cool too. TWA is a very minimalistic approach to platforming where you traverse the stages by controlling up to 5 different characters each with unique abilities. There's actually a compelling storyline delivered by a witty third person narrator who tells a rather convoluted, yet highly entertaining, story of the humble group of quadrilaterals. Since it's a casual game, the storytelling really helps carry the game along pretty well, It's not too heavy just refreshing to hear in between the stages and queue you to your progression in the game. I rarely felt stuck on any particular task for too long, the game keeps things fresh by briskly moving back and forth though wide variety of skill sets. Its a surprisingly intriguing game for just controlling a bunch of different squares. 8.5 out of 10
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32 of 45 people (71%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 1, 2014
It's a nice little experience, although I'm surprised that it's quite so acclaimed as it is.

It's a very light puzzle platformer. You play as a series of squares or rectangles, each of which has a different colour, a different size, different jumping heights, and some have bonus abilities like double jumping or floating in water. You traverse levels by switching between characters and stacking them up to use their abilities appropriately to get through the levels. When you get to the end, each square has a box they need to be in to go to the next level. There are 100 levels. The pacing is good, there's always new stuff, levels only take a minute or a minute and a half. None of the levels really have any challenge, it's generally immediately apparent what you have to do and there's only really one mechanic that actually presents any challenge in executing what you need to do (one block type has reverse gravity and you have to sort of lasso a falling block on top of a falling upward block so they sort of meet in the middle and float off each other). Some levels have a single collectible.

It took me apparently 2.9 hours total, but that includes doubling back and getting a few missed collectibles. It's very pretty because it's just made of primitives. The music is really really nice.

I guess the main thing that the game does that's unique is that it has voiceover narration that provides an inner monologue for the blocks, who all have personalities. This is pretty nice, very well written, and cheeky, and it's cool to think of coloured blocks as human-like characters, but ultimately the "plot" is unclear--something about hacking the gibsons to free the information mainframe or whatever--and most of the personalities don't really go anywhere or lead to payoff. One very cool thing is that as the voiceover speaks, there are subtitles that appear next to the character you're playing as... but as you move, the subtitles waterfall so that you always see them on screen... so if you're at the right of the screen you might see the subtitles on one line to the left, but if you run to the left and there's less space, it sort of squishes into five or six lines. It can't really be described, it's like the effect that happens if you resize your browser window horizontally and text wraps, but applied to cool effect.

So all in all, I'd say it's well worth the 3 hours and cute and I'm looking forward to what the dev does next, but it doesn't really stick with me, even now and it's not super substantial. Mild recommendation.
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