terça-feira, 3 de março de 2015

Thomas Was Alone: a gaming masterpiece

In 2010, I played a strange indie game created with Adobe Flash, in which you command a group of squares with special powers, trying to solve puzzles with these pieces. In that occasion, I played the game a few times and never remembered the name of it.

Five years later, during a board game session, a friend of mine evoked this game again: Thomas Was Alone. I downloaded it for PS4 and now I’m experiencing the game in a whole new scenario of interactive possibilities.

Thomas Was Alone is an indie puzzle platform video game created by Mike Bithell and nowadays it’s possible to play it also in Android, PlayStation 3, iOS and other platforms. The idea is simple: you command squares with “special powers” (one with high level jump, other with swimming abilities etc.) and, level by level, you need to fit the characters in their correspondent slots.

Wait. Did you say characters? Yes. Thomas Was Alone, besides its abstract conception, has an incredible narrative focus. There’s a very interesting storytelling behind the simple square forms, talking about technology, freedom, ideology and relationship.

Check the trailer and the gameplay:

This kind of game teaches us how to balance mechanics and simple graphics with immersive story. Thomas Was Alone is a class of elegant game design. If you have never played it, I strongly recommend it.

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