Thomas Was Alone is a puzzle-platformer developed by Mike Bithell for Mac and PC. The game takes place on a minimalist two-dimensional plane, with stark black surfaces and a moody electronic soundtrack. Players control a number of different characters, which are all simple colored quadrilaterals with varying degrees of movement speed, jump height, and other special abilities. With the ability to switch characters on the fly, players must get each shape to it's corresponding exit to complete the level, often helping each other by creating platforms, traversing spike pits, pushing switches, etc. The game is comprised of 100 levels, broken down into 10 chapters of 10 levels each.
While aesthetically simplistic, the game places a large focus on narrative. None of the colored blocks ever speak, and instead a narrator (voiced by Danny Wallace) tells the story as players move through the game. The colored blocks are all given names and personalities, and as they help each other through the game, develop attachments and aversions to each other.
The game begins with Thomas becoming aware that he exists. As he moves through the game, he meets other characters who have also had a similar awakening. At the beginning of each chapter, quotes from various fictional software engineers and corporate CEOs are displayed on-screen, each one talking about how certain self-aware artificial intelligences emerged in the systems they were creating. It quickly becomes clear that the AIs they're referring to are the colored blocks themselves, and their quest to escape.
The eponymous character that starts off the game. Thomas is a red rectangle with a chipper attitude, and has average jump height and movement speed.
Chris is a orange square with a more dismal outlook on life. He has a low jump height and slow movement speed.
John is a long yellow rectangle, and has a very high jump and fast speed. He is always eager to show off his better abilities.
Claire is a large blue square, whose jump height and speed are rather slow, but she has the extra ability of being able to float in water (all other characters die instantly.) This causes her to think she is a superhero.
Laura is a pink rectangle laid on its side. Her jump and speed are average, but she has the added ability to act as a trampoline for other characters, giving them a boost to higher areas.
A doppelganger to Thomas, this green rectangle has the same movement speeds as him, but falls up instead of down, traveling along the ceiling of levels. James would rather be left alone.
A rectangle smaller than all the rest, Sarah has the special ability to perform a double jump. She thinks herself superior to all the others because of this.
Bithell initially self-released the game on PC & Mac from his own website on June 30, 2012. The game was eventually released on Steam on November 12, 2012. Everyone who had purchased it previously was given a steam code to download it there, which contained the addition of Steam achievements and controller support.
On April 23th, 2013 in North America (April 24th in Europe) Curve Studios released a port of the game onto the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Vita, which supported Cross Buy. In Europe, PlayStation Plus members were given the game for free at launch. Additionally, a new add-on titled Benjamin's Flight was made available exclusively for Sony platforms.