It takes a lot to stand out amongst the crowded rhythm game section of the App Store (or any section of the App Store, really) but Big Blue Bubble's Thumpies [App Store] manages to easily set it self apart. Crazy graphics combine with an interesting gameplay mechanic where each level has you tapping out beats that layer on top of each other until you've eventually formed a fairly complex song.

The most immediately noticeable thing about Thumpies is the art style which seems to be this odd combination of Where the Wild Things Are, the Madballs toys from the 80's, and the Fire Gang from the movie Labyrinth. The entire game is dripping in whimsical charm between the sprawling tree that makes up the level select menu, butterflies fluttering around everywhere, and even the backgrounds of each level that pulse with the beat of the music.

After selecting one of the unlocked songs (of which there are 16 in total) and then choosing one of three difficulties, the Thumpies will then fall from the sky to bounce on top of tree stumps and mushrooms and you must tap the screen when and where they land. This is simple enough when there is only one spherical creature bopping around the screen, but as the songs increase in difficulty, even more pads for the Thumpies to land on are introduced along with additional Thumpies you will need to manage at once.

If you're like me and not particularly musically minded, juggling all these Thumpies in the air to the beat of the song (especially when Thumpies are landing on half-beats) can be deceptively difficult. On top of this, there are additional Thumpies that can be unlocked by collecting and saving up differently colored butterflies that will be floating around as you're tapping out your beat. As soon as they appear on screen you need to try to tap them because if one of the Thumpies flies by them they will munch the butterfly right out of the air.

Completing each section of the song requires you to fill the meter at the top of the screen. The meter increases when you successfully tap in time with the beat, and decreases when you miss a beat. When the meter is full, the Thumpies cheer, the portion of the song you just completed where you were tapping out the bass beat merges with the rest background music, and you begin the next section of the song which might have you tapping out some crazy vocals to add. When a song is complete, you're scored on your accuracy, and the next song (or songs) leading up the branches of the level select tree is unlocked.

Thumpies is an amazingly creative game, and thanks to the multiple difficulty levels should be approachable enough for kids and challenging enough for adults. The thread in our forums is filled with people who are leaving absolutely glowing reviews of the game, and I find myself in agreement with all of them. If you enjoy rhythm games at all, you really need to give Thumpies a spin.

App Store Link: Thumpies, 99¢

TouchArcade Rating

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  • Lord Gek

    It looks cool but is is, when you get down to it, something akin to Tap Tap Revolution?

    • danrel

      The basic ideas behind both games are similar, but that's where the parallels end. I think it's actually quite a bit more challenging timing the beats in Thumpies because the 'Mad Ball' looking dealies are constantly bouncing around in-time with the beat at which point you must tap the balls corresponding drum,turtle or whatever the instrument might be. It gets really tough when you have multiple balls bouncing at one time since some hit the drums on beat and some hit the drums on half beats, etc.

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    • Fantacide

      It's a lot harder because you don't see the beats coming at you in a linear line. If you have more than one thumpy bouncing around, it's can be pretty hard to know which one will land next, unless you've memorized each thumpy's pattern, and even then things can be pretty challenging. With Tap tap you can see which beat it coming next pretty easy. Also, instead of just three "notes" (or drums) to hit, it can be 3, 4, or 5 depending on the song.

  • Lord Gek

    It looks cool but is is, when you get down to it, something akin to Tap Tap Revolution?

    • danrel

      The basic ideas behind both games are similar, but that's where the parallels end. I think it's actually quite a bit more challenging timing the beats in Thumpies because the 'Mad Ball' looking dealies are constantly bouncing around in-time with the beat at which point you must tap the balls corresponding drum,turtle or whatever the instrument might be. It gets really tough when you have multiple balls bouncing at one time since some hit the drums on beat and some hit the drums on half beats, etc.

    • Fantacide

      It's a lot harder because you don't see the beats coming at you in a linear line. If you have more than one thumpy bouncing around, it's can be pretty hard to know which one will land next, unless you've memorized each thumpy's pattern, and even then things can be pretty challenging. With Tap tap you can see which beat it coming next pretty easy. Also, instead of just three "notes" (or drums) to hit, it can be 3, 4, or 5 depending on the song.

  • Cilo

    Where the wild things are on bongos!

  • Cilo

    Where the wild things are on bongos!

  • akira01

    Better than Tap Tap, more challenging...
    And a lot of humor. beautiful arts too.
    There's a lot of really good games this year. And this is only 17 february.
    good...

  • akira01

    Better than Tap Tap, more challenging...
    And a lot of humor. beautiful arts too.
    There's a lot of really good games this year. And this is only 17 february.
    good...

  • djflippy

    Thumpies is a game that every iPhone owner should own. It's innovative, it's beautiful, and most of all, it's insanely fun.

  • djflippy

    Thumpies is a game that every iPhone owner should own. It's innovative, it's beautiful, and most of all, it's insanely fun.

  • NotYou

    Did I hear something about Madballs?

    • HelperMonkey

      Ahhhh, memories...
      Amazing the things we HAD to spend our money on back then. I've still got a bunch of Garbage Pail Kids cards in the back of a drawer somewhere.
      And kids these days can spend LESS to buy cool games in the Appstore. Such a shame(?).

  • NotYou

    Did I hear something about Madballs?

    • HelperMonkey

      Ahhhh, memories...
      Amazing the things we HAD to spend our money on back then. I've still got a bunch of Garbage Pail Kids cards in the back of a drawer somewhere.
      And kids these days can spend LESS to buy cool games in the Appstore. Such a shame(?).

  • Lord Gek

    But if replaying the same tune is there any randomization?

    • djflippy

      Nope. I'd hate for you to pass on it because of that, but everyone has there deal-breakers, so I understand if this is yours. It's actually more about rhythm than many in the genre, because you are discovering the rhythm, not just copying it. Also, you have to predict the bounce, so it requires an additional skill-set, as compared to normal tap tap games. Having said that, though, I don't know how much re-playability it has, but I got my dollar's worth out of it easily.

  • Lord Gek

    But if replaying the same tune is there any randomization?

    • djflippy

      Nope. I'd hate for you to pass on it because of that, but everyone has there deal-breakers, so I understand if this is yours. It's actually more about rhythm than many in the genre, because you are discovering the rhythm, not just copying it. Also, you have to predict the bounce, so it requires an additional skill-set, as compared to normal tap tap games. Having said that, though, I don't know how much re-playability it has, but I got my dollar's worth out of it easily.

  • munkee

    Looks like the framerate will be choppy on an iPhone 3G. The 3D is too detailed to have fluid framerate, which is very important for a rhythm game.

  • munkee

    Looks like the framerate will be choppy on an iPhone 3G. The 3D is too detailed to have fluid framerate, which is very important for a rhythm game.

  • Crunch

    App Store has this at $ 2.99 not 99 cents.

  • Crunch

    App Store has this at $ 2.99 not 99 cents.

  • Doodler

    I have found this game pretty easy. It may be good as a casual title, but if you've mastered something like Elite Beat Agents (Nintendo DS), then this title won't keep your attention.

    It's a very polished title though.

  • Doodler

    I have found this game pretty easy. It may be good as a casual title, but if you've mastered something like Elite Beat Agents (Nintendo DS), then this title won't keep your attention.

    It's a very polished title though.

  • Richard Sly

    The Thunmpies look cool but the background looks boring and flat. Would be nice if thumpies would open their mouths and close them on occasion. Is it worth the price? NO. Same repetitive gameplay over and over and over....Thumpies do look cool though but thats just it. Try coming out with a new idea instead of piggy backing from others. Most of the good reviews come from people within the company trying to hype up their game so people would buy it. Trust me its not worth the price. Perhaps .99 cents. Otherwise you are throwing your money away on a game that you will be very little and NO its not a game that every Iphone owner should own. I hate it when people make comments like that especially when its a companies employee told by the company to hype up their game.

  • Richard Sly

    The Thunmpies look cool but the background looks boring and flat. Would be nice if thumpies would open their mouths and close them on occasion. Is it worth the price? NO. Same repetitive gameplay over and over and over....Thumpies do look cool though but thats just it. Try coming out with a new idea instead of piggy backing from others. Most of the good reviews come from people within the company trying to hype up their game so people would buy it. Trust me its not worth the price. Perhaps .99 cents. Otherwise you are throwing your money away on a game that you will be very little and NO its not a game that every Iphone owner should own. I hate it when people make comments like that especially when its a companies employee told by the company to hype up their game.

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    ..Thumpies do look cool though but thats just it. Try coming out with a new idea instead of piggy backing from others. Most of the good reviews come from people within the company trying to hype up their game so people would buy it. Trust me its not worth the price. Perhaps .99 cents. Otherwise you are throwing your money away on a game that you will be very little and NO its not a game that every Iphone owner should own. I hate it when people make comments like that especially when its a companies employee told by the company to hype up their game.

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  • tiankong008

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