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Part-Time Gamer: 'Thomas Was Alone'

Thomas Was AloneAt its core, Thomas Was Alone is a platformer and a good one at that. The game follows a group of AIs as they navigate a series of “levels” and “jump” over walls and hazards. Each level is narrated brilliantly by Danny Wallace, and this narration is where nearly every bit of the story originates. The rectangles don’t emote or speak or really do much besides jump with varying levels of success. Somehow, despite the rectangularity of the characters and the general not acting, the story just worked. I found myself rooting for these guys.


Thomas is the first of the bunch that you meet. He is a red rectangle that is very curious and can jump quite well. Chris, the yellow square, can’t jump nearly as high and is more bitter and angry. I could go through the whole list, from Claire and John to Grey and Team Jump. These shapes go through a real emotional arc, while jumping.

See, they jumped and followed and arc. From the jumping. An arc.

[Editor: Ben, you’re fired.]

Which brings me to the platforming. This game has some of the most interesting and surprising platforming I have seen in a while. The real focus here is cooperation. Almost every level requires a fair amount of coordination between the various boxes. Thomas might be able to jump high, but only Chris is small enough to fit in an opening. Using the skills of these AIs together gets you through the levels and helps the story come together. Did I mention how good the story is?

This is also a really nice game to pick up for a little bit. The levels are all pretty short and easy to pick up for five minutes and put back down. You can also easily do what I did and just play through all four hours or so in two sittings. I needed to fix lunch. The point is, this game will fit easily into your busy schedule and is absolutely worth taking a look at.





Now, we here at Part-Time Gamer don’t like to do the fun per hour math that video game fans often get caught up in. We don’t mind math, but this sort of calculation is more subjective than the Drake Equation. (Boom! Math joke!) I feel like this game is as good a way to show how dumb that argument can be. This game costs $10 and lasts about four hours. There are going to be people that think this is unacceptable. Nobody as smart and good-looking as FBC readers, but still some people look at games like this. The thing is, this game is incredibly fun and one of the best video game stories I have experienced this year. So, how is $2.50 an hour not a bargain? Note: if you weren’t hesitant because of the length of the game, please disregard the paragraph you just finished reading.

I could talk for hours about how happy the game made me, how much fun I had jumping, how involved I got in the emotional lives of these little rectangles. Instead, I will just say, this game is excellent and you should play it.

 

 

Ben Rhodes, Fanbase Press Senior Contributor

Favorite Book:  Cryptonomicon
Favorite MovieYoung Frankenstein
Favorite Absolutely Everything:  Monty Python