Another week, another indie darling gets added to the Switch’s growing library. This time around Thumper is bringing its slick style and high paced action to Nintendo's latest handheld. We already know that Thumper is a fantastic game, but does it hold up on Switch?
There is no doubt that everything that made this rhythm gem special is still right here, and now you can bring that excellence anywhere with the Switch’s portable features. I’d argue that the Switch version, while very late to the party, is a best overall because of that alone.
The Thumper Legacy Continues
Thumper was one of the most exhilarating experiences of 2016, the tight controls kept me going for hours even after dying dozens of times. And even though I’ve already spent a good amount of time playing the game, I’m doing it yet again with no complaints.
For those who are new to the party, Thumper is a somewhat dark rhythm game where you follow on screen cues to guide your space beetle along a single track. Along the way you'll need to adjust to sharp turns, dodge obstacles, and defeat enemies to complete various stages. It’s satisfying, addictive, and difficult, perfect package for anyone looking for short bits of fun.
Everything that made me fall in love with Thumper the first time around is still here in the Switch version, but don't be surprised by the lack of additions. Nonetheless, if you're looking to experience Drool’s wonderful creation once more, or if you're looking for an addition to the limited Switch library, then this is the release for you.
Looks Great Wherever You Go
Thumper keeps a clean 1080p in docked mode, but you won't being seeing that much since you'll likely find yourself playing it most when out and about. The undocked mode keeps a steady 720p resolution with the same frame rate. But no matter how I ended up playing, I rarely ran into any issues with performance—outside my own skills, of course.
The downgraded visuals in undocked mode never bothered me even though I spent most my time there. I didn’t bother to hook it up to my TV to much since Thumper’s level progression is incredibly fluid, it almost seems like it was meant for handheld platforms.
Each stage is broken down into a number of smaller levels. Once you complete one of those levels you’ll immediately start another. It’s easy to get caught playing and drain the battery of your Switch, but at least it's worth it. It’s also simple to stop playing; you can save and quit and then start from nearly the same place next time you boot the game up.
I’m Not Ready To HD Rumble
HD Rumble is one of the new features that the Switch brings to the Thumper experience. And while it's a neat idea to make the beat more tangible in the hands, it doesn't add much to the experience. You’ll get a nice little buzz every time you make a turn, hit a beat, or dodge an enemy, but you'll forget it's even there after a few minutes.
That could just be me, I haven't seen HD Rumble have an impact on any of the games that I've played, and I've sunk my teeth into most of what the Switch has to offer. But even if it is just me, HD rumble is not reason enough alone to get Thumper if you’ve already played through it before.
If you were expecting the Switch version to come with some extra goodies like other indie titles have, then you’ll be disappointed. At least it seems fair given it released on other platforms just a short while ago.
Everything that originally made Thumper a fantastic game is still here to be found in the Switch version. It’s incredibly fun and this time around can be played for both short bursts and long car rides. It’s a fantastic addition to the Switch’s growing library.