Do you fancy piloting a metallic space beetle through the psychedelic conduits of hell? Think you can keep up with the intensely rhythmic, tribal, call-and-response trials of an industrial noise rock god? Think your nerves can handle a demanding campaign filled with twists, turns, and tribulations designed to push your reflexes and powers of concentration to their utmost limits? Nah, you're not ready, but Thumper is now available on Xbox One anyway, and you owe it to yourself to experience this game for yourself.
People have described Thumper in many ways. It's often referred to as "rhythm violence," or "rhythm hell." When I try to describe the game to others I inevitably end up vomiting heaps of poetic prose about how paradoxically meditative and punishing it can be. This is a game that is beautiful to behold, easy to learn, and almost impossible to master at the higher levels of play.
In Thumper you'll guide your damned beetle along these chromatic, colorful hyper-space rails and grind, drift, soar, and thump to the beat. This unique circle of hell is ruled by the terrifying Crackhead, who will cast sequences of rhythm which come hurdling relentlessly toward you as obstacles, enemies, and traps that you'll have to avoid by imitating the rhythm as perfectly as possible. Maybe one day you'll do this in an attempt to secure a high score on a leaderboard, but after the second level, as a newcomer, you'll be doing this in a desperate attempt to survive. You won't survive.
But try you will, and the experience is in the trying. I always describe Thumper as a meditative game because it almost forces you to assume a state of possessed zen-like composure to succeed. The rest of the world melts away along with your face as you zero in on the myriad visual and audio cues that get hopelessly lost among the nightmarish clacks and clamors of your surrounding hellscape. You have to feel the rhythm to succeed, which is why Thumper can be conquered even by those who feel like they're naturally musically inclined. It just takes focus.
There's a reason this game was reviewed positively across the board, with near-unanimous adoration. We've been playing and loving this game on PlayStation, PC, and Switch, so don't miss out. Check out Thumper and tap into the tortured, modern gaming zeitgeist. You'll be better for it, and you might even have some fun.