THUMPER is a bit of an odd release on Nintendo Switch. It's a rhythm action game originally designed for VR, but has since been released without the VR aspect.

It's still a great experience, but one that isn't quite as impressive when you lose the extra immersion provided by VR. As a result, it's not quite a surefire purchase.


I'm not entirely sure what's going on in THUMPER. You play as a flying beetle speeding on a train-like track through a dark and moody, almost psychedelic environment.

You'll come up against a bunch of different obstacles like barriers to smash, thorns to fly over, and tight corners to navigate.

Overcoming each of them is largely the same task - press a button at the right moment. Timing is key though, as you only have a split second window to react.

Fail to react in time, and you'll take a hit. You can only take two of these before it's game over, and you'll have to repeat the entire section from scratch. That's not overly punishing though, as sections only take a minute or so to complete.
At the end of a level, you'll face a boss. This plays out much the same as any other section, except it requires perfection to get in an attack.

Complete a rhythm section without any miss-timed taps, or risk starting over. Get in three hits and the boss goes down.

You get a score depending on your performance in each section, so there's plenty of replayability in aiming to get a perfect S score.

Worth it on Switch?

It's a fun game that does the job of a rhythm action game perfectly, but it's a bit of an odd fit for the Nintendo Switch. It's already quite well-stocked in this department with VOEZ.

There's just something lacking with the transition away from VR. It's a game designed to be hauntingly immersive, and it really isn't that in handheld mode.

It's a bit better on TV because you won't be squinting so much to make out upcoming obstacles, but it's still not perfect.

You can't deny that it's gorgeous though, and it runs at a smooth 60fps at all times. That's impressive.

Basically, Thumper is a game that needs to be played regardless. If you can get the VR version, get that instead. If not, the Switch version is still one well worth checking out.

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