thomas was alone Original Soundtrack
thomas was alone Original Soundtrack
June 30, 2012
Buy at Bandcamp
thomas was alone is an indie puzzle platformer, initially released as a browser game and later released on several other platforms. The soundtrack is composed by David Housden, and features a number of acoustic and electronic instruments mixed with some retro synths in an atmospheric and relaxing package. The score is fairly minimal just as the game is, but it is also infused with emotion, further giving personality to the various shapes and figures encountered throughout thomas was alone.
The soundtrack opens with “Where Are You?”, quickly introducing many of the different elements at play in the score. A piano trickles around as some chiptune sounds poke about, and a guitar plucks away before some uplifting strings come in to fill the space and bring the whole ensemble together. The track is charming and also quite beautiful with its grand strings supporting the more intimate instruments and sounds. The short motif of the score is introduced here as well. The rest of the tracks all use this motif and its underlying harmony, producing similar but subtly different atmospheres. “Inertia” is a bit more simplistic and a bit more spacious with an echoing electric guitar, while “Hope” begins beautifully with a plucked guitar before introducing the other, still sparse elements. “United We Stand” begins with a magical flurry of chimes before ushering in the strings which build on each other nicely. It’s a short track, but its it is quite pretty when it gets going.
The soundtrack makes a shift to a more sombre sound starting with “Divided We Fall”, taking the chimes of the previous track and ordering them to a more mysterious and dark atmosphere, though otherwise it is similar to what came before. “Ghosts of the Past” is closer to those first tracks but it is noticeably sadder, and the motif only peeks out in fragments from time to time in the track. “Alone Again” offers a quick reprieve from the downcast elements, but “Lost” brings it back with thick strings, easily conveying the feeling of its title. There are some extra blips and sound effects to be found in the track as well, heightening its confusion. Although these tracks are more sombre, they don’t lose the overall feel of the soundtrack and still stick with the more relaxing and beautiful atmospheres.
Out of the darkness, “A Time for a Change” starts with just a bit of piano and reassembles the theme and instruments back together over the course of its runtime. “Escape” and “Freedom” are actually a bit similar in their structures with some changes in the instrumentation, but they are all still beautiful and moving. “Freedom” in particular has some nice tender moments, and the synthetic instruments, while not perfect at emulating acoustic ones, do a fine job throughout these tracks.
A later release of the soundtrack includes the two tracks from the DLC, Benjamin’s Flight. “Clear Skies” takes the same motif in small fragments and focuses a bit more on percussion with a lighter, dreamier feel. It’s more of the same as far as the soundtrack goes, but this isn’t a bad thing. The composition for “Gravity” is much farther removed from the main theme, standing more on its own, though its stylings match the same uplifting strings and gradually building sound of the previous tracks. The DLC songs are somewhat refreshing for the score, but it all fits well.
thomas was alone is a very charming soundtrack with a great mix of electronic and acoustic elements that results in a score that is easy to listen to and quite moving. The score wears its heart on its sleeve and is cohesive to a fault, but the earnestness and simplicity is part of the charm of the soundtrack. It’s not a perfect soundtrack, but it works great in the game as well as outside of it, and it never fails to brighten my day a bit.
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Posted on July 3, 2015 by Christopher Huynh. Last modified on July 3, 2015.