The Last Of Icarus: Thomas Was Alone Free Expansion

By Adam Smith on June 26th, 2014 at 12:00 pm.

When I last spoke to Mike Bithell, we were in the café at the National Media Museum in Bradford. He had just delivered a talk about his upcoming Virtual Robin Hood game, Volume, but we found time to discuss Thomas Was Alone as well. Bithell said – and I agree – “I thought I was writing a competent story with an amazing platform game. It turned out it was the other way around!” Presumably, the previously Playstation-only prequel episode, now available on Windows and Mac (Linux build soon), elevates plot over platforming. A cursory examination reveals a possible interpretation of the Icarus myth, with an AI in place of daddy Daedalus and a jetpack in place of waxy wings.

Steam copies of the game upgraded overnight, although there’s a problem with the Linux build that Bithell is working to fix. The new chapter appears on the scenario select screen and here’s what it is and what it contains:

Benjamin’s Flight takes place before the events of Thomas Was Alone, and tells the story of the first AI to discover something very dangerous: Hope. Armed with a new jetpack ability, he’ll go hunting for the strange glowing light he’s long admired from afar.

With a new script, new VO and two fantastic new soundtrack compositions, Benjamin’s Flight is a big thank you to everyone who believed in our silly little game.

The music deserves a mention. So many people praise the narration, which is witty, sad and smart, but the soundtrack contributes a great deal. It’s actually the first part of the game I was attracted to. I remember being disgruntled when I heard Danny Wallace would be talking over the top of it. Goes to show what I know, doesn’t it?

Those who don’t yet own the game can currently grab a copy for £2.39 in the overwhelming land of discounts that is the Steam Summer Sale. I think that would be a wise thing to do.

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12 Comments »

  1. TomxJ says:

    My one gripe with Thomas was Alone was that there wasn’t more of it! This can only be a good thing.

    Thanks Mike.

    Manks.

  2. SirMonkeyWrench says:

    I think ‘competent platform game’ is an excessively generous description of Thomas Was Alone.
    Still, free updates are always appreciated.

    • Xocrates says:

      It really isn’t. Competent doesn’t imply more than “it has no major flaws”, which is true. An incompetent platform game would be barely playable, or at least highly frustrating.

      • The Random One says:

        Highly frustrating, as in something that you have to do several times, in a slightly different way, with four different characters, and if you screw up once you have to start all over again?

    • elevown says:

      Ofcourse its competent- its not broken and dosnt work is it? Thats what incompetent would be. And secondly its irrelevant because the game is made good by its narrative- and they are not played in isolation.

      I assume the expansion – yay to free expansions :) is a word play on ‘the last of icar – US’?

  3. emptee says:

    I loved the original game but these jet-pack controls are just dreadful.
    Had to turn of the game out of frustration.

    • AngelTear says:

      I didn’t find them dreadful, but it’s a bit hard for sure. Then again, it only matters for a couple of levels.
      Controller highly recommended for the jetpack (The spacebar, at least on my keyboard, isn’t good if you want to press and release very quickly, which is the best way to manoeuvre the jetpack).

      • Xocrates says:

        The problem isn’t necessarily the controls, the problem is the level design which reeks of being made by someone who had gotten so used to the jetpack controls and level layout that they forgot to actually design them properly. The difficulty curve is bizarrely schizophrenic, and there were several levels where I died because I outpaced the camera, even if by accident.

        Amusingly, after I defended the game’s competency just above, I come across a set of levels that are frequently incompetent :/

        I did finish it though, and it was interesting enough.

        • drakmaniso says:

          It’s true that the levels seem a bit more sadistic than what I remember of the remainder of the game. I thought maybe this was tied to the narration; I have no idea if this is true as I too had to pause the game due to high frustration level.

    • LTK says:

      Dreadful they are. Youtube it is.

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