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8 Games Like Thomas Was Alone

Control different-coloured rectangles in this simple running, jumping and puzzle solving platform game. It sounds boring and derivative but each of the distinctly coloured shapes comes to life in the game as a character embroiled in this escape story about friendship, curiosity and sacrifice. Like any platform game, you jump, run and use special abilities to complete levels. As you do so, you get to know each shape’s personalities through the storytelling of the quipping narrator.
 

These games offer a similar experience or are about a theme that Thomas Was Alone addresses. Also, if you want to play a game like Thomas Was Alone but don’t have PS Vita, PS3, PS4, Wii U or Xbox One, these are a good alternative.

 

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB EVERYONE 10+

Release Date: 18/04/2013, updated in 2014

Platforms: Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita and Xbox One.

Genres: Action, Narrative and Platform.

 

 

Lego Builder's Journey

Platforms: iOS Apple Arcade

Genres: Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 1 and a half hours and 135 minutes to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

This isn't what you expect it to be. Rather than a brick-based puzzle for kids it's more like a thoughtful and nostalgic work of art for adults. You work through abstract levels by following instructions but also by breaking the rules. Take the time to...


The Stanley Parable

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One

Genres: Adventure, Narrative and Puzzle

Duration: Between half an hour and 1 and a half hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

The Stanley Parable is an interactive drama with no combat or action to speak of apart from walking around and interacting with everyday objects. You guide a silent protagonist, Stanley, while discouraging narration plays in your ear. As you discover...


Qomp

Platforms: PC

Genres: Action, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

Duration: Between 2 hours and 2 and a half hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Qomp is a bat and ball game with a difference. You control the ball rather than the bat. Trapped in between paddles for decades, you finally escape and start an adventure through a maze of dungeons.


Monument Valley (Series)

Platforms: Android and iOS

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Duration: Between 2 hours and 3 and a half hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost. In-game purchases.

Monument Valley and Monument Valley 2 are puzzle mazes made from optical illusions. You interact with each level to change the pathway and get your character to the exit. Its striking, calm visual theme is used to build atmosphere and slowly reveal a...


HyperDot

Platforms: PC and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Creative and Puzzle

Duration: Between 2 minutes and 10 minutes to play a round.

Players: You can play with 4 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online.

Costs: Purchase cost.

HyperDot is a dodging game, where you control a small circle and must move to avoid collisions with other shapes. It sounds too simple to be fun, but the cover design and variation in challenge make it a really enjoyable game.


A Dark Room

Platforms: Nintendo Switch and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Open World, Strategy and Turn-Based

Duration: Between 4 hours and 5 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

A Dark Room is an adventure where you try and survive in the wild. It has a similarly simple start – a single option to stoke a fire – but also evolves into an incrementally complex system of resource management as a larger story unfolds.


Mutazione

Platforms: Mac, PlayStation 4 and iOS

Genres: Adventure, Creative and Narrative

Duration: Between 6 hours and 10 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

In Mutazione you play as a 15-year-old girl visiting her grandfather on a faraway island inhabited by friendly but mutated villagers. By finding seeds, tending to gardens and talking to people, you uncover a tightly knit web of characters with...


Evergate

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, PC and Xbox Series X | Series S

Genres: Platform and Puzzle

Duration: Between 7 hours and 8 hours to complete.

Players: This is a single player game.

Costs: Purchase cost.

Evergate is a running and jumping game where you can slow down time to make difficult jumps through hand-drawn environments. It combines the need for timing and puzzle solving in a game that slowly tells the story of the characters you meet.


 
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Thomas Was Alone is in These Lists

In addition to the similar games listed above, which have been linked to this game specifically in the database, you may find games with a similar theme to Thomas Was Alone in the following lists:

Your First Video Game

These games are perfect if you’ve never played one before, opening the door to the gaming world for non-gaming parents and carers. They are short, straightforward and easy to understand, so you don’t need to commit hours to learn to play them, and they are played on technology you probably already have in your pocket or in your home. They address mature themes such as love, hope, power, homelessness and even traffic planning by inviting you to interact and play a part in these worlds and stories.

We've found that it's not just parents who have enjoyed the way these games let them in on the world of gaming, but grandparents, uncles and aunts. In fact it's a great list for anyone who's never played a game and wants to know what all the fuss is about.
 

Free With PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now is a subscription service that provides hundreds of PS2, PS3 and PS4 games to play on demand. The games are streamed to your PS4, or Windows PC like a Netflix film but with interactions. Because of this you need a fast internet connection of about 5Mbps. Additionally, PlayStation Now also lets you download some PlayStation 4 games to play locally on your system without streaming.
  • PlayStation Now costs £8.99/month
PlayStation Plus is the other subscription service and is required for most online games. It also offers discounted and a two free games each month. It also grants discounts on games, add-ons and pre-orders. PlayStation Plus also enables you to backup your progress to the cloud.
  • PlayStation Plus costs £6.99/month
With PlayStation Plus you can also share your games in more ways with friends and family:
  • Screen Share – Let's someone in another place watch your game on their PlayStation. PlayStation Plus is not required for either party
  • Pass the Controller – Let's someone in another place take turns on a game you own, without owning the game themselves. PlayStation Plus is required for the host, but not for the guest
  • Playing Together – Let's you play local co-op or split screen games with someone in another place who has a PlayStation. PlayStation Plus is required for both players

 

Commit No Violence

While a significant portion of video games focus on combat and competition, these titles offer a less aggressive way to progress and win. None of these games enable or require the player to cause harm to another living thing -- even Mario's merciless campaign to stomp on every Goomba he meets bars him from this list. Or then there's catching and selling fish in Animal Crossing that rule that one out.

Many of them are aimed at children and families, but you'll be surprised how many explore deeper, more mature themes in their narratives, or require just as much skill as a fast-paced first-person shooter. This means there's plenty of offer for parents who might lack the reflexes (or interest) to survive a round of Fortnite.

We've focused on the games you might not expect to be played non-violently here, but you can find the full list at Non-Violent Games Of the Day curated by James Batchelor.
 

Know Your Body

Video games offer an opportunity to inhabit another body. Whether we step into the powerful frame of a trained marksman or brave adventurer, while we play we have a different sense of our physicality.

This is not only an enjoyable way to escape the reality of daily life but a chance to reflect on and understand ourselves, and our bodies, better. Stepping into the shoes of a vulnerable, small or endangered character can help us understand for a short while some of what it is like to be someone else.

Whether this is into the awkward teenage years of Mord and Ben in Wide Ocean Big Jacket, the grandparent-escaping Tiger and Bee in Kissy Kissy, the fractured heartbroken body in Gris or the haphazard movement of Octodad we have a chance to reassess our own physicality and how we respond to and treat other people's physicality.

More specifically, to use body therapy language, games offer us a chance to discover the inviolability of our bodies, personal autonomy, self-ownership, and self-determination. In travel, as Andrew Soloman says, we go somewhere else to see properly the place where we have come from. In video games, we step into other bodies so we can better understand our own and those of the people around us.
 
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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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