Thumper (video game)

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Thumper (video game).jpg
Programmer(s)Marc Flury
Artist(s)Brian Gibson
Composer(s)Brian Gibson
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
PlayStation 4
PlayStation VR
Nintendo Switch
Xbox One
Google Stadia
  • Windows, PS4, PS VR
  • October 10, 2016
  • Nintendo Switch
  • May 18, 2017
  • Xbox One
  • August 18, 2017
  • iOS
  • January 24, 2018
Mode(s)Single-player Edit this on Wikidata

Thumper is a "rhythm violence" game developed by Drool and released in October 2016 on Microsoft Windows and PlayStation 4, with optional virtual reality (VR) support for the Oculus, HTC Vive, and PlayStation VR headsets. It was later released on the Nintendo Switch in May 2017, and the Xbox One in August 2017. Thumper: Pocket Edition for iOS devices was released in January 2018. The game was shown at the Experimental Game Workshop during the 2015 Game Developers Conference.


The objective of Thumper is to guide a beetle-like creature along a single or dual track through a series of horrific worlds.[1] The player must press a button to hit lit "notes" on the track in time with the background music, while also bracing against obstacles, turning against curved walls, jumping over spikes, and defeating enemies. The game is played in a third-person point of view just behind the beetle, which enhances the extremely fast scrolling speed of the level's obstacles.

Each level is broken up into segments. After each segment, the player is given a score and a rating showing how well they did. The beetle can sustain one hit (a missed turn or crashing into an obstacle), and at certain places it can regain its shield if it is lost. However, taking a second hit without its wing-shield in place will destroy it, and the level starts over at the last checkpoint. The player can repeat the segment as many times as is necessary to beat the level.


Marc Flury presents on the game's development at the 2017 Game Developers Conference

Thumper was developed by the two-man team of Drool, consisting of Marc Flury, the programmer of the game, and Brian Gibson, the bassist for Lightning Bolt, who composed the music and created the artwork for the game. The design of the game was a collaboration between Flury and Gibson.[2]

The engineering effort behind Thumper was notable for its rejection of the object-oriented programming paradigm in favor of a procedural programming approach. Much of the game's code was organized via a small handful of large files, some of which reached 6000 lines of C++ code. [3]

The game was released for the Nintendo Switch on May 18, 2017.[2]

A version for the Xbox One released on August 18, 2017.[4]

The game was released on iOS devices as Thumper: Pocket Edition on January 24, 2018.[5]


Aggregate score
MetacriticPC: 85/100[6]
PS4: 84/100[7]
NS: 85/100[8]
XONE: 86/100[9]
Review scores
PC Gamer (UK)82/100[11]

Thumper received "generally favorable" reviews according to review aggregator Metacritic.[6][7][8][9] PC Gamer declared it "one of the best rhythm games ever made."[12] Chloi Rad of IGN wrote that "Thumper's trippy sights, sounds, and intense rhythm action create a terrifying VR experience I won't soon forget."[10] The Official UK PlayStation Magazine listed it as the second best PS VR game.[13]


  1. ^ Walker, John (2015-03-09). "How Thumper Made A Lot Of People Very Uncomfortable". Rock Paper Shotgun.
  2. ^ a b Diver, Mike (May 18, 2017). "Prepare for Sweaty Palms Now 'Thumper' Is on the Nintendo Switch". Vice. Retrieved May 18, 2017.
  3. ^ "Seven Years in Alpha: The Thumper Postmortem". Game Developers Conference 2017. June 28, 2017.
  4. ^ Flury, Marc. "Thumper's Blend of Rhythm Violence is Coming to Xbox One This Spring". Xbox Wire. Retrieved 21 May 2017.
  5. ^ Devore, Jordan (December 13, 2017). "Intense rhythm game Thumper coming to iOS". Destructoid. Retrieved December 13, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Thumper for PC Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b "Thumper for PlayStation 4 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Thumper for Switch Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  9. ^ a b "Thumper for Xbox One Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  10. ^ a b Rad, Chloi (2016-10-05). "Thumper Review". IGN. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  11. ^ MacDonald, Keza (13 October 2016). "Thumper review". PC Gamer. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Why Thumper is one of the best rhythm games ever made". pcgamer. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  13. ^ PS VR Hall of Fame, Official UK PlayStation Magazine, Issue 136, June 2017, Future Publishing, page 108

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