8. Thomas Was Alone
Developer: Mike Bithell
While AAA studios spend untold millions creating games offering 'immersion' and 'emotional resonance' by making pupils dilate and pores clog, one designer managed to create a deeply compelling story using nothing more than geometric shapes and flawless voice acting.
Designer Mike Bithell originally created Thomas Was Alone as a flash game for browsers, and the game was quickly ported to Steam and the PSN in early 2013. Controlling simple anthropomorphized polygons that represent AI programs, players must control these programs, that have now gained sentience, through the inside of a computer main frame.
Each shape is a given a very clear and distinct personality conveyed through an almost hypnoticly British narrator. The game is a puzzle platformer that had us more emotionally invested in the well-being of mere shapes than some of the most expensive scripts that we played through in 2012.
Do yourself a favor, play Thomas Was Alone and surprise yourself at how much heart simple shapes can pack into this indie gem.