Thomas Was Alone

Game review by
Chad Sapieha, Common Sense Media
Thomas Was Alone Game Poster Image
Fun platformer with a lovely story about friendship.

Parents say

age 9+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this game.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about emotions, friendship, and cooperation in this brilliantly written platformer/puzzler. As the story progresses, players listen to a narrator describe the characters' emotions, in the process learning what each one thinks of himself and the others. Kids observe how those perceptions change as the characters encounter and overcome environmental puzzles and obstacles, including helping one another and relying on each other for support. Thomas Was Alone helps kids understand how relationships work and teaches them to celebrate their friends' differences rather than envy or make fun of them.

Positive Messages

This game examines human feelings and relationships. The story explores themes of loneliness, friendship, overconfidence, self-doubt, selfishness, and sacrifice. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The rectangular characters have human-like personalities and loosely conform to their shapes (tall and athletic, plain and unremarkable, etc.). However, they quickly learn to be more than what they at first seem to be. They get to know, love, help, and make sacrifices for each other, finding a greater strength as a group of friends than they ever could alone. 

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 with the control stick (which can be just a little laggy), but the levels are short, keeping frustration at a minimum.


Rectangular-shaped characters occasionally fall onto spikes or into water. They disappear and the level resets. There is no blood or gore, but death is implied within the story.


Dialogue makes it obvious that a couple of the rectangles are in something approaching a loving relationship. There is no hanky-panky.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know Thomas Was Alone is puzzle/platformer that has players controlling little rectangles as they hop around small, two-dimensional environments. More than that, it employs a narrator to tell a story rich with humor and emotion and filled with basic but enduring lessons about friendship and human relationships. It does so innocuously, without resorting to sexual themes, graphic violence, or even harsh language. However, while this game has little that might be considered inappropriate for younger players, some parts of the story may be too abstract or emotionally complex for younger kids to fully grasp.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 10 and 17-year-old Written byAngelos Tsiaklis December 12, 2013
Teen, 13 years old Written byEmbeari November 13, 2019


This is such a good, clean game. It gets you thinking hard to solve challenging puzzles, intrigues you with the narrated story, and teaches good lessons.
When... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written byvincent walter June 19, 2018

really good charming story

Great game for basically anyone old enough to touch a controller

What's it about?

THOMAS WAS ALONE is a two-dimensional platformer/puzzler about relationships. Its stars -- a cast of rectangles of varying size, shape, and color -- each have their own qualities, such as tallness or shortness, the capacity to float on water or squeeze through narrow gaps. These qualities inform their personalities. The tall one is athletic, a bit conceited, and loves to perform for an audience, while the small, simple square is bitter about how unexceptional he is. However, as the game progresses it becomes evident that each rectangle has unique attributes that the others must rely on in order to bypass obstacles. This helps the group forge a bond of friendship and trust. They realize that by celebrating their diversity they can accomplish far more together than they could alone, and in doing so they come to protect and even make sacrifices for one another -- and others they don't even know.

Is it any good?

There aren't many modern games more rudimentary in design than Thomas Was Alone. Each level is simply a flat landscape of blocks and spikes and pools of water. Even the game's heroes are simple rectangles lacking hands, feet, mouths, or even eyes. And yet thanks to a brilliant script and an impassioned, award-winning narrator, these quadrilaterals somehow have souls. Their thoughts and motivations are simultaneously more complex and more believable than those of just about any blockbuster game around. And the relationships they forge with one another are deep and authentic. You'll come to care about these little quadrangles.

The puzzles they solve (with your help) are fun, too. Switching between them at will, you'll need to make them cooperate to help one another. That could mean climbing on one's back to float across a puddle or stacking them up to let another reach a higher area. The puzzling isn't quite as bold or original as the storytelling, but it fits the tale well, often acting as visual allegory for the emotions and problems the characters face in their friendships. You've likely never played another game like this, and you won't soon forget it.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendship. Who are your best friends? How did they come to be your best friends? What events transpired to make them people you could trust and rely upon when needed? What have you done in return to earn this kind of friendship?

  • Families can also discuss puzzle solving. What is it about puzzles that makes people want to solve them? Do you get frustrated easily and lose interest, or are you like a dog worrying about a rawhide bone, unable to let go until it's been unraveled?

Game details

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