Home Gaming Thumper is a violently rhythmic game you shouldn’t skip

Thumper is a violently rhythmic game you shouldn’t skip

3 min read

You should be playing Thumper 3

Until PlayStation VR reviews started dropping last week I hadn’t really paid much attention to Thumper. Rhythm games of any kind have kind of fallen out of favour with me, with the odd Audioshield game here and there reigniting a passion that once burned strong.. Thumper has flipped my perceptions of how much more can be sucked from this genre though, and it’s a game that critics universally agree is pretty brilliant.

Developed by Drool (which comprises only of two ex-Harmonix developers), Thumper is described as “rhythm violence game,” which makes a lot of sense looking at some gameplay below. You guide a chrome beetle through a bombardment of visual hues and musical cues, using simple inputs to avoid death. Thumper is about brining rhythm games back down to core minimalism and cranking up the difficulty to 11 – a formula that worked wonders with Devil Daggers earlier this year too.

While the game is valuable on PS VR, HTC Vive and Oculus Rift (and is generally far more immersive with a headset), it’s a game that can just as easily be played without one too. And that’s good news, considering how critics are losing it over how amazing the experience is.

IGN – 9/10

You should be playing Thumper 1

Menacing boss fights that manage to stay interesting despite a relatively linear structure and a strange, chrome-plated brand of cosmic horror that’s as fascinating as it is frightening make repeat trips easy and exciting. But it’s the music and sounds of Thumper that will stick with me the most, beckoning me back to that terrifying abyss for several more hours to come.

Gamespot – 9/10

You should be playing Thumper 5

It sounds odd to claim that a lack of consistently original music wouldn’t be a major problem for a rhythm game, but music isn’t the point. Thumper thrives due to the way it marries speed, simple controls, and mesmerizing atmosphere. It’s far more convincing in VR, where you’re enveloped in the game’s space and free of distractions from the outside world, but it shouldn’t be ignored by those without the appropriate hardware. Thumper, no matter how you play it, is too good to miss.

Paste Games – 10/10

You should be playing Thumper 6

Think Tetris, Ms. Pac-Man, Dark Souls, the best Metroids and Marios and Zeldas—the true classics, the cornerstones of the medium that have made an indelible impact on how we play and think about games. Thumper is right up there alongside them. It is an essentially perfect realization of its own unique goals and concerns, and a game we’ll be playing and celebrating for decades, even if it leaves us afraid and confused.

Destructoid – 8/10

You should be playing Thumper 4

I’d still recommend Thumper, though. Readily. But I would also advise not to get too wrapped up in fully finishing it. This road is long and winding and brutal. It might just drive you mad.

Hardcore Gamer – 4.5/5

You should be playing Thumper 2

Thumper is a beautifully dark, unforgiving and utterly fantastic rhythm game, and its sense of menace is only matched by its wonderful playability.

I’ve only just bought Thumper for myself (and plan to record some of my more spectacular runs), but if you’ve been looking for a digital adrenaline hook, you’ve found it. It’s out on PS4 and PC.

Last Updated: October 12, 2016


  1. Allykhat

    October 12, 2016 at 10:34

    Shameless AudioSurf clone with a VR coat of paint


    • Alessandro Barbosa

      October 12, 2016 at 10:40

      Has boss battles, individually crafted levels, and doesn’t use user audio. Quite different actually


      • Allykhat

        October 12, 2016 at 10:44

        So a love child between AudioSurf and BeatHazard?

        Edit: Minus the user radio


  2. HairyEwok

    October 12, 2016 at 10:39

    I only play rhythm games when I have a plastic guitar in my hands.


  3. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    October 12, 2016 at 10:43

    This is one game I want to play on VR


    • Ottokie

      October 12, 2016 at 10:44

      The big question is… can we play Darude Sandstorm on it.


  4. Sageville

    April 13, 2017 at 11:16

    Pity comment.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Check Also

PSVR 2 only arriving in the 2022 holiday season according to new report

Like most high-end technological devices, there's going to be a bit of a wait for the prod…