Thomas Was Alone – Review and Interpretation

This is my review and interpretation of the game Thomas Was Alone – by Mike Bithell.  WARNING: Spoilers ahead. 

Thomas Was Alone, created by Mike Bithell, is a metaphor for collaboration, infrastructure, and life after death within community.  It sounds a bit strange seeing as the game is about Thomas, a sentient AI rectangle within a computer game, but bear with me.  

The game starts out playing as Thomas, who is alone (shocker).  Thomas was randomly created by the game program on accident.  As Thomas goes through the game world he finds many friends along the way.  Thomas meets Claire, Chris, Lara, John, James, and Sarah – all of them also created randomly and by accident within the program.  All of them have different unique skills (one can swim, another can double jump, one is extra short while another is extremely tall).  All of their unique skills, in the beginning, are useful in their own way.  Each one solving puzzles that only they can solve.  

However, as the game progresses the puzzles focus less and less on each individual character and more on how the characters interact.  By helping each other out the characters are able to collaborate to solve puzzles that would be insurmountable to each character individually.  It forces you to stop thinking of each character as an individual and think of them as a united team.  Without collaboration between characters the game would be insurmountable.   Continue reading