Here’s something unusual – a PS3 game. A completed PS3 game at that. Haven’t had that in months!
Thomas Was Alone was something I did want to play. I thought about getting it on Steam, but then I remembered – I don’t play PC games – so waited until a console release. Sadly, it only hit the PS3 (and Vita, I think), rather than any console I actually use, so I left it. Until I realised I had just over six quid in my PSN account and Thomas Was Alone went on sale for about £2.39 or something.
And I wanted to spend my PSN “cash” before Sony stole it again (if you don’t spend it after a certain amount of time, Sony just take it from you – already had that happen once), of course.
So Thomas Was Bought, played, enjoyed, and completed.
There are two main parts to the game. The first is the puzzle platforming bit. Thomas, a rectangle, and various other rectangles with different names and various physical “powers” (able to jump higher, double jump, have reversed gravity, act as a trampoline, etc.) have to reach matching rectangular door “portals” across about 80 levels of platforming. The graphics are plain, the puzzles mostly simple, and sound effects are almost nonexistent. It’s not a bad game, just there’s no depth and very little challenge.
But there’s another part to the game. The running narration of the progress, feelings and story behind all these little rectangles. They all have distinct personalities, egos and fears. Not a single part of the narration affects how the game plays at all, but the funny characters that it draws out of the shapes you control adds a massive layer of purpose to the game, elevating it above the “drab puzzle platformer” it appears to be.
It’s short, and I spent between two and three hours on it, but it’s definitely well worth playing. And best of all, it uses the d-pad and a single button on the PS3 controller (plus L1/R1 to swap shape) so it’s even enjoyable to control for those of us who hate the Dual Shock 3. Lovely.
Now, what do I spend my remaining £3.80-ish on?