Thumper is a rhythm based game developed by Drool. Described as a "rhythm violence game", it definitely lives up to that reputation. You play as a "space beetle" and are on a quest to kill the evil "Crackhed" as he and his minions hurl obstacle after obstacle at you at ever increasing speeds and complexities, requiring you to press various button combinations to clear each hurdle. The later levels in the game get quite punishing and move at breakneck speed. Here are my thoughts on the PlayStation VR version of the game.
Simple and clean. Lots of bright colors and hypnotizing geometric shapes and patterns, with parts of the track appearing to be alive with tendrils whipping about on either side of you as you speed through each zone. The game has a very cool futuristic art style, and it is definitely proof that there is beauty in simplicity. Some of the zones can be both relaxing and hypnotizing, even though they are flying by you at breakneck speed.
Rhythmic music plays in the background and with each successful obstacle cleared, you add to the beat to create an energetic mix that definitely fits the action well. If I had any complaints, I'd say t could use a little more variety in style, it's mostly rhythm with very little in the way of melody, but other than that it fits the overall feel of the game very well. Sound effects and music are well balanced, and the overall quality of the audio is good.
The controls are very responsive, which is a must for a game like this. They are also very simple, using only a few buttons on the controller which keeps things enjoyable without over-complicating the gameplay. For a game that moves by this fast, that is a very good thing. VR enhances these controls a lot. I couldn't imagine trying to play through this entire game in 2D, it seems like it would be a very frustrating experience without the depth perception of 3D once you get to the later levels. In VR, you don't have to pay as much attention to how far away the objects are on the track, and even though the resolution is lower, objects farther away seem easier to see because of the added depth.
Nausea Factor: 5
This game does fly by at breakneck speeds, and some users who are more sensitive to motion sickness may have to play it in short sessions at first, but for the most part the game keeps your view perfectly centered on the track, and the world seems to fly towards you rather than you feeling like you are flying towards the world, so it isn't as easy to get motion sick as it would be in a game like Driveclub VR or Here They Lie.
There are nine levels, with around 20-30 zones per level. While the gameplay can seem a bit repetitive after a while , it does make a great game to spend 15-20 minutes at a time killing time with. Even when you beat the game, you can go back and try to get better scores, as you are rated for how well you did in each zone. For the cost, this game delivers a very fun experience and plenty of content. The overall aesthetic of the game creates a cool futuristic feel, the level designs are challenging with cool boss fights, and the simple but effective controls make for some great gameplay. Definitely one of the best launch titles available for PSVR.