by Staff Writer
February 22, 2010
OverviewThumpies is Big Blue Bubble’s refreshing take on the rhythm based music genre. Before you get into the gameplay the most noticeable thing about Thumpies are the little characters themselves. Each one is a uniquely designed little furry ball that are definitely creepy, but somehow still cute as though an evil alternate universe of Chuzzle. Like a cross of Uggles, evil gremlins, and Where the Wild Things Are. The Thumpies bounce around from drum to drum, and you tap on the drum that they bounce to. The Thumpies bounce to the beat, and thus you will be tapping to the beat, and be creating quite complex rhythms you’ve never heard before. The game amps up quickly with multiple Thumpies on screen bouncing between five drums.
FeaturesThere are 16 levels (rhythms), and each one is broken into parts. You play one part, and try to fill the meter at the top of the screen. Once you fill the meter the next beat is introduced while the previous one plays in the background. Each level is split up into three to six parts, and the rhythms all begin to play over each other when you complete each one. As you're tapping on the drums to create the beat, butterflies fly past, and you try to tap on them if you have time. The butterflies are used to unlock new Thumpies, but be quick as the Thumpies will eat the butterflies if they touch them before you. There are 18 different Thumpies to unlock. Another nice feature is that there are three difficulty levels letting you enjoy Thumpies at your own pace.
The GoodThumpies breathes fresh air into a tired genre with every aspect of it. The gameplay is superb as you tap on the drums as the Thumpies bounce on them. It’s such an engaging and fun experience with multiple Thumpies bouncing between five drums, and tapping in an accordingly frenzy. The best aspect is that it truly feels like you’re playing the beat which no other game has truly been able to do on the iPhone. Every tone comes from the tap of your finger, and you create beats that you’ve never heard before rather than playing well known songs. Another nice added feature is that if you miss a tap when a Thumpie hits the drum the note doesn’t play. The music you create is not only great to play, but also wonderful to listen to. As the beats overlay themselves you have a deluxe orchestra of rhythms that will have you rocking to the beats as you tap. It would be great to listen to these songs straight on your iPod in there entirety. The Thumpies themselves are the most unique creatures yet in the App Store. They all have a different personality, and are just so creepy, and yet so cute, it’s an odd dichotomy. Not only that, but the overall visuals are simply gorgeous from the nature themed backgrounds to the 3D perspective on the Thumpies. The drums themselves are uniquely designed, for one of the backgrounds it gives you mushrooms, turtle shells, and stumps to play on. When you tap on time there is a flash of green sparks with the correct note, and the same is true when tapping on butterflies. When you hit consecutive notes the Thumpies electrify for two times, which is a nice animation. The Thumpies also go in a specific order, and have a faint trail so you can memorize their pattern, as otherwise the game would be nearly impossible. The game is scored based on percentage correct of taps to Thumpie drum hits. This gives instant replayability to want to improve your score, and all of the songs are so great you will want to play them again. On top of that there are 18 Thumpies in total to unlock also adding to replayability.
The BadThe only concern is that the game can get quite complex, and potentially frustrating. With multiple thumpies bouncing around with quick half beats you will miss quite a few notes. Each missed note reduces your meter, and you can be stuck in the middle of a song not being able to pass the current section. One potential complaint is that there are a limited number of songs. As deluxe as the music is, and as good as it is, this will feel like more than enough one time though. Plus you’ll want to play them more than once. One other concern is that sometime when tapping for butterflies the game picks it up as a drum beat which will kill your chain.
The VerdictThumpies truly does reinvent the rhythm based game, and stands above Tap Tap Revenge, Rock Band, Riddim Ribbon, and all others in the category.Every single song is a joy to play and listen to. Then on top of that there are the wonderfully unique thumpies. For $2.99 Thumpies is a should buy, and the best rhythm based game in the App Store.
Tap Tap Revenge 3
Riddim Ribbon feat. The Black Eyed Peas
Big Blue Bubble