Remember when not wanting to work and banging on your drum all day actually involved hitting stretched leather over a hollowed log? Me either. Rhythm games are all bright buttons and tech nowadays. It’s great and all but if you’re getting just a wee bit tired of all the neon flashing past your screen and craving a more organic rhythm experience, Thumpies is where it’s at. With Thumpies, you are back in nature, to a time before DanceDance and TapTap, to when rotten zombie fuzzballs that eat butterflies roamed freely and bounced from fungus to tree trunk.
Released by Big Blue Bubble, Thumpies is a really interesting take on rhythm based gaming. The adorably grotesque fuzz creatures drop from the sky onto your “drum pads” and bounce around in short loops. Tapping the drums when the fuzzballs land on them will play the corresponding beat. It’s important to note that they will bounce around in rhythm whether or not you hit the drums which means scoring will be much easier once you catch their rhythm pattern as opposed to a Whack-A-Mole kind of strategy. Capture of butterflies, which are used to unlock new Thumpies, is an optional extra challenge to the game. An empty Thump-O-Meter means bye-bye captured butterflies, but unlike other rhythm games, your game is not over if your Thump-O-Meter is empty. Hitting the drums at the right times will fill up your meter and once the meter is full, you will advance to the next part of your rhythm. Each part gets added to the last until you have a nice little rhythmic symphony going.
There are 16 levels you can unlock and the rhythms for all of them are as unique as the Thumpies themselves. In some levels, the active beat felt a little out of sync with the background rhythm, though the developers have recommended making sure your device has the latest update installed for best results. I was able to breeze through the levels pretty quickly though I’ll definitely be going back multiple times to improve my scores and/or just to bob my head along with the nifty beats. Hopefully future updates will also fix the syncing problems and include more levels.
Thumpies is truly a novel and entertaining concept and its high-quality permeates all aspects of the game. It is in the AppStore for $2.99, but you can also experience a bit of the wildness for free with Thumpies Zero.
Here is a video demo of the Thumpies app on the iPhone
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