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¢