Thomas Was Alone

 
Completely charming -- and funny -- puzzle game.

What parents need to know

Ease of play

There are no difficulty levels from which to choose, but the run-and-jump puzzles start out easy and only gradually increase in difficulty. Some challenges require precise timing and a deft touch, but short levels keep frustration to a minimum.

Violence

The rectangular-shaped characters occasionally fall onto spikes or into water, briefly disappearing and then returning to their last positions, but there's no blood or gore.

Sex
Not applicable
Language

You can hear an occasional "hell" or "damn." 

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

The developer has a comprehensive privacy policy, but it's written in legalese and is difficult for the average non-lawyer to get through. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know Thomas Was Alone is a puzzle/platform game putting players in charge of squares and rectangles that have loads of personality. As a narrator humorously discusses their thoughts and tells their story, players guide them through a series of puzzles, where they must work together. The game tells a charming story about friendship and relationships, without resorting to sexual themes, graphic violence, or even harsh language (though an occasional mild obscenity slips in for emphasis). 

What's it about?

Players will help Thomas the square and his friends solve a series of increasingly difficult puzzles, where they must get from Point A to Point B by working together. Players control the characters through a basic set of controls on the bottom-right side of the screen, which allows them to move right or left and jump. Characters must work together (for example, Thomas the Square must jump on the "shoulders" of other characters to clear tall cliffs) to solve each level.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

THOMAS WAS ALONE isn't a graphical powerhouse, but it packs an emotional wallop. With its deceptively simple appearance, the game has soul -- delivered through a wonderful narration. Make no mistake: Although the gameplay is good, it's the story that will keep you playing. Against all odds, you'll come to care about these rectangles and squares and the relationships they forge. The emotions that are a part of this story are among the most believable in any game. It is truly a remarkable feat of writing. 

There aren't many games like this -- so when you get the chance, grab it and savor what good game elements and great storytelling can create. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of friendship and working together.

  • Families also can talk about determination. When a puzzle or situation is hard, do you give up -- or work harder to resolve it?

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:$8.99
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:May 16, 2014
Category:Puzzle Games
Size:113.00 MB
Publisher:Bossa Studios Ltd.
Version:1.0.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later

This review of Thomas Was Alone was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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