Thumper is a rhythm-action violence game (we couldn’t put that description in quotations but the game earned to make that term a general one) where you play as a space beetle going at insane speeds with brutal physical interactions/hits, and confronting a hellish/maniacal giant head from the future.
You speed (or ‘scream’) down an endless track with obstacles to overcome from making tight turns, hitting notes using unique moves, and surviving in battles against a variety of bosses with their own unique patterns to learn, all the while listening to its fantastic original soundtrack which is connected to the world, track and your actions.
Even when it was first announced it was hard to understand what it is or how it played, but almost everyone who did see footage of it thought the same thing: “I don’t know what this is but I want to play it.”
The very first thing you’d notice from looking at screenshots or gameplay videos to actually playing the game, is how extremely gorgeous the visuals are and how unique it is. It’s beautiful, colorful, clean and somehow scary yet alluring.
You probably wouldn’t think ‘music’ when you hear the original soundtrack in the game while playing through it, hearing interesting sounds or strings of notes changing rapidly at times but still keeping its overall theme (or I’m stupid and don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m no musician). It was unique, nothing we’ve ever heard in a rhythm game and it was great listening to it, trying to get the full track of a level by practicing and getting it perfectly.
There isn’t a story from what I can tell, aside from you being a space bug in a extremely weird world on a deadly track with horrifying beings trying to destroy you, but the way they presented the whole game gave very strong hints of their being a reason for this world and its inhabitants to exist, and why the space beetle is trying to survive in it.
Moving on to gameplay, it’s pretty much like any past games in the same genre like Guitar Hero or more like Amplitude, where you try to hit the oncoming notes coinciding with the soundtrack. The difference here is that there’s more different notes to hit and different ways to hit them, notes found on the ground, in the air or on the sides of the track and there’d be different combinations of button to press to successfully hit each one of these notes.
Also it’s worth saying that the game is pretty much set in ruthless mode regarding difficulty, where if you screw up two times resulting in you taking damage, you’ll fail instantly. There are ways to regain your your shell back (think of it as your first heart of two) aside from reaching a checkpoint, but even that is challenging and it’s great!
The game was a blast to play through, with beautiful visuals, a great soundtrack, fantastic design, tight and simple yet complex gameplay with extremely responsive controls and an overall great experiences to have.
A high quality package filled with nicely crafted content, providing you with high replay value at an amazing price point. You just can’t let this game slip by and miss out on an awesome experience. Thumper evolved the rhythm genre and expanded it with realized ideas, and being a source of inspiration for future rhythm games.
For more information about the game, check out its Steam store page here.