Ok, we had a discussion going about this game in the Indie games thread that got locked for some reason.
So I’ll copy @Nightgaunt’s excellent post about the game here:
Has there not been any discussion here of Thumper??
I’ve had my eye on it for a long time, and it’s on sale this week, so I finally grabbed it.
It’s a game about… uh… a beetle? Seems like a very angry beetle. It rockets along this long track surrounded by surreal symmetrical tentacles and geometry. And there’s loud music, and you have to hit buttons and turn at the right times our you blow up in a violent burst of red light. And sometimes there’s a goofy looking giant head you’re attacking.
So it’s a rhythm game, is what I’m trying to say.
There’s not necessarily a lot to the game, but the presentation is pretty remarkable. Particularly the feeling of speed and impact, which is really what the game is all about. Or to collapse it down to one word, it’s about “intensity.” The game is intense. The music isn’t pleasant–it’s harsh and clangy. Your little beetle certainly isn’t cute. It doesn’t have any personality. It just flies along the track, vibrating, and slamming into walls. And occasionally flying over things.
I think @tomchick compared Thumper disfavorably to Aaero. And Aaero definitely has a lot more variety of things to see, hear, and shoot. But somehow Thumper has gripped me a lot more than Aaero did. I didn’t care for Aaero’s music, and never did get the hang of shooting things (despite my Rez bona fides).
Thumper is one of those rhythm games where you sometimes hit a flow state and find yourself doing these amazing combinations of moves without even thinking about it. That’s really satisfying. And I think the tone of almost-horror the game gives off is really unique and extraordinary given how little there is that goes into it.
/end Nightgaunt post.
I had a really tough time with the game, but I recently re-installed it again when I heard it had come to Stadia. I mean, for god’s sake, STADIA! If there was enough leeway on the timing that the game can be played on Stadia, I must be doing something wrong, so I installed it again this weekend, and I got through the first level!
Wooohoooo! I’m in baby! I know how to play.
So here’s some key tips about what I was doing wrong:
When you turn your ship, you don’t have to turn and press A at the moment of the turn. It’s the only way to earn yourself a satisfying sound effect, yes, but the truth is, you can turn in advance on the stick, and you can just keep the A button pressed. Easy peesy. I was trying to do all the turns the hard way and failing spectacularly.
The same is true for a lot of the in-game shenanigans. Experiment, and learn what you need precise timing for and which parts you can do in advance that you don’t need timing for.