Thumper, the "rhythm violence game," will be out later this year


We first heard about the “rhythm violence” game Thumper in late 2013, when Phil described it as “inside a Venn diagram containing WipEout, Audiosurf and Dyad,” and said it was slated for launch in 2014. In 2015, he expressed continuing interest in the game, but updated the scheduled release date to “when it's finished.” And in 2016, Phil has been promoted and so I'm here to tell you that the game is in fact getting closer to launch, and is now set to come out later this year.

The forthcoming release—and “2016” is as specific as it gets—was revealed in a new trailer which, while bright, loud, and visually kinetic, is not terribly informative as far as clarifying what Thumper is actually all about. Thus, I will quote from the description on Steam.

“With one analog stick and one button, you control a space beetle while hurtling through stunning and treacherous worlds. Each rhythmic hit, crash, and impact is interwoven with an original soundtrack by Brian Gibson of the acclaimed noise-rock band Lightning Bolt,” it says. “The basic move set of thumping, sliding, and turning is easy to learn. But as you careen onward, you’ll need to master new moves and survive adrenalizing boss encounters. To reach synesthetic bliss, you must go through rhythm hell. And nothing can prepare you for the ultimate confrontation with an insane giant head from the future: CRAKHED.”

That clears that up, then.

All kidding aside, Thumper has an impressive array of indie game award nominations and victories to its credit, including a finalist nod in the Excellence in Audio category at the 2015 IGF Awards. So if rhythm games are your thing, this one is probably worth paying attention to. Find out more at

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.