Meet Thomas. He’s a curious rectangle who has continued his journey from platform to platform, and I’m not just talking in-game here. Thomas Was Alone [$5.99 (HD)] was first released for PC and Mac back in 2012, and with the help of Curve Studios’, both PS3 and PS Vita version were released in early 2013, with brand new exclusive content. It was certainly successful, and created a lot of buzz, and now one year on creator Mike Bithell has teamed up with Bossa Studios to bring this BAFTA winning, bestseller to the App Store for iPad users to get a taste of just what all the fuss is about.

The game looks absolutely beautiful on the Retina display, and it goes without saying that Thomas is a game that is perfect for the tablet platform. Everything from the original version is present and correct, from the pretty melodic soundtrack to the pleasantly simple graphic style, which perhaps look just a little bit crisper on the bigger HD Retina display. As you guide Thomas and his friends throughout each level, a story unfolds, narrated by the ever-fantastic Danny Wallace (yes, that Danny Wallace, of Assassins Creed fame), and you’ll be able to read along as you go thanks to the on-screen text snippets that accompany the voiceover.

If you’ve not played Thomas Was Alone previously, then you’ve certainly been missing a treat. For the uninitiated, Thomas is a pleasant puzzle platformer that follows the story of a rectangle and his other “shapely” friends as they unravel the very mysteries of their existence in a strange and unfamiliar world. The controls handle brilliantly on the iPad. One of my fears was that porting the game would lead to problems getting used to a whole new control system, especially as touch-controls can be somewhat hit-and-miss, but my fears were allayed as I discovered that this is the perfect game for the touchscreen interface.

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You simply move back and forward using the on-screen arrows, and tap on the diamond to jump. As the game progresses, you’ll learn you can switch between “characters” by simply tapping on their corresponding colour tabs at the side of the screen. Now everyone knows I’m not the greatest where it comes to puzzle games, but Thomas Was Alone is simply so accessible that my own mother could probably play it. Hell, my cat could probably play it. Sure, it’s challenging from time to time, but not in the sort of rage-inducing way that makes you want to throw your console out of the window. The hardships I endured throughout each level taught me that every obstacle can be overcome, and as the narrative unfolded I felt that these characters could just as well be real people, with actual personalities. Each one of them has their own story to tell, it’s simply beautiful, and I realised that playing through the game for a second or third time didn’t lessen the impact of just how brilliantly and well executed the concept of this wonderful game is.

As you meet the overly jealous Chris, the extremely proud John, or the remarkably unique Laura, you’ll realise that these characters are not just the shapes they portray on-screen. They’re as human as you and I. Let that sink in for a bit.

At $8.99, the game may be a little more expensive than the average iOS game, but don’t let that deter you from the sheer quality of this beautiful indie platform puzzler. It’s worth every penny you put in, and you’ll get a good three or four hours of enjoyment, along with a heartwarming tale of friendship. Would could say no to that?

If there’s one thing we can be certain of, Thomas definitely isn’t alone anymore.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • sirbond

    Totally worth getting

  • Quazonk

    So worth it. This game is a steal for 9 bucks.

  • xxAcesHighxx

    I got this for Vita last year - it's amazing!! Totally recommended :-)

  • Himmat Singh

    The price-tag does seem a tad too high (compared to what I paid for it on PC at least), but if you can overlook that then the game is simply amazing. A simple game made great by a unique and engaging story that's told heart-warmingly by a brilliant narrator.

  • Deewin

    This is a great game! I have it on the vita and loved every second of it

  • HandsomeLuke

    I have this on ps3 I thought I did not care for it too much. I think it will be a bit better on iPad with headphones tho so I would say it's worth the 8$.

    • HandsomeLuke

      $9*

    • riChchestMat

      I also got bored fast. The puzzles aren't that bad but implementing the solutions is a chore.

      • drlemon

        I agree and disagree. Solving puzzles is often easy, but implementing them is hard. Still love it though

  • blackbear219

    awesome game. just finished off all the trophies for it on my vita the other day.

  • collider

    Totally brilliant. I have it on steam/Mac, but I'm really tempted to play it again on iPad. Sounds like it would be perfect.

  • Donny K76

    For anyone who has purchased this, are there Game Center achievements?

    • slamraman

      Yep - still 35

  • NukesKnight

    Maybe I would have finished college if Danny Wallace would have read the books to me.

  • retrogiant

    Also to add, the soundtrack is FANTASTIC.

  • HelperMonkey

    To all the fans: I feel you. But I'm not paying $9.

  • Salsander

    It's a great game, but your better off getting it off the humble bundle (it's on sale for any price you want today only, but if you missed it you can always check out the humble store). It's a tad bit short with not much replay value to be worth the $9.

  • Jacob Nørgaard

    I usually have no problems with paying 1-5 dollars, but compared to the pc version this is expensive. I will wait for the price to be lowered.

    • Foghorn Irrascible

      Why, how much is it on PC? Where it's been out for ages.

  • Phantom Bruiser

    I'm glad someone likes it--I got it for free on PS+, downloaded it, played it for 15 minutes, deleted it. If you can't grab me in the first 15 minutes of your game, I can't afford to waste my time on it, sorry.

Thomas Was Alone Reviewed by Lucy Ingram on . Rating: 4.5