Some games bring unexpected amounts of lovable charm. You might not like Thumpies at first due to its creepy bouncing heads, but once you start playing, it’s nearly impossible to put it down. Varied, original music and plenty of unlockables have these thumpies bouncing their way right to the top.
Since Thumpies is a rhythm-based music game, interesting beats are a must, and every one of the 16 original tracks offers a different style of groove. Some are upbeat and quirky, with lots of off-beats, while others require quick movements. Each level starts off with a simple groove, and once you’ve played it for long enough, it plays in the background while you work on a new layer of the song. This continues until everything has come together.
The gameplay is quite easy to grasp, but difficult to master. You simply tap on the “drum” object the thumpy lands on to create a sound. On some levels, after the beat repeats a few times, a new thumpy joins in. Before you can move on, you must fill up a meter that increases when you hit a note and decreases if you don’t.
With three difficulty levels, all levels of percussion masters can tap at their own pace. Some of the harder songs do get a bit frantic, which can be a little unnerving, but it’s still a lot of fun.
While thumping to the beat, butterflies will randomly fly across the screen. Tapping these or having a thumpy pass over them adds them to your collection. Once you collect a certain number of each type of butterflies, a new character is unlocked. These only serve as an aesthetic bonus, but they’re still great rewards. There are 18 in total, ranging from the Alice In Wonderland-themed Cheshire Cat and Mad Hatter lookalikes to a shark head with a fish hook as an earring. Once unlocked, they will randomly appear in the game, but you can toggle them on and off in the menu if you prefer just a few in particular.
The screenshots for Thumpies don’t do the graphics justice. Each individual thumpy is detailed in their own unique 3D model. The bouncing animations, light-up backgrounds, and shadows show that the developers paid attention to every tiny detail in the game. Even clicking on a level icon from the menu makes a thumpy tell you the song name in a silly voice.
Even if you’re unsettled by the creepy art direction, Thumpies offers a great gameplay formula and original soundtrack that will keep you wanting to stay in this musical world. Don’t miss it!