2016 is the year we eagerly sacrifice our ears to Devil Daggers and Thumper [official site]. They have earned them. We will be lucky to lose our hearing so gloriously.

2017 will be the year we welcome their followers, glad to have more aggressively overwhelming games.

2018 will be the year we smile and nod at their followers’ imitators.

2019 will be the year we wish everyone would go back to making pixel art puzzle-platformers about the K├╝bler-Ross model of grief.

But this is still 2016, when Devil Daggers is flipping excellent and Thumper looks ruddy brilliant. Look at (and listen to!) this thumping new trailer:

Pow! Right in the guts.

To explain a little, Thumper’s a rhythm game of sorts, controlled by one analogue stick and one button. Your “space beetle” (that’s the official term) races along tracks, doing things in time to a beat to build a wonderfully horrible soundtrack as you screech around corners, dodge obstacles, hover, and try not to go blind from all the bright flashes. It appears to be an assault on the senses in a very excellent way, combined with tight and skillful timing. It’s like if Devil Daggers were Audiosurf, yeah? No? No.

Thumper is due out some time this year. It’s made by Drool, a two-person team of folks who’ve previously worked at Harmonix on rhythm games including Amplitude, Rock Band, and Dance Central. This is a touch more aggressive, this one.


  1. Banks says:


    • TechnicalBen says:

      Check out the earlier videos as well. If they keep those styles in as well… it gets better.

      There is some of this a bit in Distance. Where the music and level design fuse together to provide sublime or distressing high tones, screeches and sudden breaks. However in Distance it’s more about the driving and tracks. I think Thumper is more about the music and rhythm and the visuals.

  2. Pich says:

    well this game was made by half of Lightning Bolt, so face-melting was expected

    • xcopy says:

      So Devil Daggers fits perfect to noise music like Merzbow, and this game is from Brian Gibson from Lightning Bolt.
      It is great that these kinds of music find a place in video games and their design!

      I will definitely take a look at this game!

    • noom says:

      Holy shit! Love Lightning Bolt… how did I not know Brian Gibson worked in games?

  3. shagen454 says:

    You guys are British so might not even know who or what Lightning Bolt is, lol – link to

  4. shagen454 says:

    The guy who helped make this game is the guy on bass playing all the crazy sound that is not drums

  5. Lars Westergren says:

    I really can’t wait to play this. Volume at 11.

  6. Cinek says:

    Do you actually get to… do anything in this game? Cause it looks like a beetle going forward on a single rail, with screen flashing all over the place.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      It’s like Audiosurf and the like. I think it is the white lights you have to watch for. If they are on the sides, press left or right, if below the spacebeetle, press the button. Presumably later stages build on earlier patterns so you basically don’t have time to see all visual queues but have to remember and listen to the music.

      • Jalan says:

        A bit too much like Audiosurf in places, really. Clearly it looks different where it counts and all, but if you had shown me this trailer (and anything related to the game that was released prior to it) then I’d just be assuming that this was a heavily modified Audiosurf that seems to place heavy emphasis on the Pusher character.

  7. preshrunk_cyberpunk says:

    I too am wondering how the game will actually play. The visuals and audio are amazing though. I want this to be my entry program when I jack into the Matrix ;)

  8. steves says:

    Jesus wept, that that thing goes like the clappers. This is what 144Hz monitors are for.

    And drugs.

    • Zanchito says:

      Either at very low dosage or I’m not thinking of the right enhancer, reflexes surely can’t keep up with that

      • tnankie says:

        You’ve not tried amphetamines? While I’ve not done rigorous back to back testing my perception was enhanced reaction to external stimulus.

  9. Psychomorph says:

    My brain went numb watching the video. Either it’s the speedway to Asgard or Dementia.

  10. Shazbut says:

    So impressive, even if it looks like it would give me brain damage.

  11. Jay Load says:

    I have now spontaneously developed epilepsy.

    Thanks, Thumper. *twitch*

  12. Nate Gallardo says:

    As a huge Lightning Bolt fan I’ve been keeping an eye on this since about 2010, when Gibson demoed a really, really early version in a great interview series on Vice. Which has sadly completely disappeared from the internet, I can confirm having spent half an hour searching for it :(

    That version was crazy basic, to the point where I thought ‘Hmm, I dunno man. That looks a bit shit.’

    It was in the Leftfield collection at EGX in September last year though, and it was my highlight of the show. I must have gone back to it 10-15 times over the weekend. I happened to be stationed in Leftfield and could spy it down the other end of the booths, so any time it got quiet and there wasn’t a queue I went back. The gameplay is ‘simple’, yeah, but it’s about more than that. The experience is incredible.

  13. Premium User Badge

    The Almighty Moo says:

    Played the start of this at EGX and I must say that it’s amazingly compelling to play. It’s very paired back in the early stages but I could see how it would quickly become more complex / challenging. Definitely made me want more.

  14. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    I’m not sure if there’ll be more on RPS about Devil Daggers, so I’ll put it here because Alice made me think of it: Is anyone else un-excited about it? Maybe it’s because it’s not what I’m looking for in an FPS and have played older FPSs, but it looks kind of.. dull.

    • Jalan says:

      I think that’s the biggest failing of it – people heaping way too much praise on it as if it’s the next advent/amazing comeback of a “retro”-esque FPS, when it’s really little more than a score attack arena shooter (something along the lines of first person bullet hell, but not fully there).

      Not to say it’s a bad one, but people going “if you loved Quake…”/etc. are doing not only the game a disservice but any potential players who might be fans of games like Quake by trotting out such misleading comments.

    • Alice O'Connor says:

      We’ve always been quite clear on what Devil Daggers is and isn’t. We’re quite pleased to have a cracking score attack FPS with such wonderful flair. We never made no daft “If you loved Quake…” comparisons, because it’s totally different, innit.

      • Jalan says:

        I think you may have assumed that I was including you lot in that – in case that’s true and it wasn’t clear: I wasn’t doing that. Others have, however, done that and it (at least) bothers me personally because it muddies the impression of what to expect from Devil Daggers.

    • ButteringSundays says:

      Are there other people not interested in a video game you’re not interested in? This is a question you’re asking?

      Even if the comment were relevant it’d be dull as dishwater.

      Yes. Yes there are other people that think devil daggers doesn’t look appealing.

      You can go now.

      • ButteringSundays says:

        “I’ve played other FPSs and it looks dull”

        Also there’s got to be a troll face reaction for this inane statement.

        Also it’s an arena shooter! How many times do you people need to be told? (Even in threads for different games apparently!)

      • ButteringSundays says:

        Damn, wish there was an edit button so I could just replace my comment with this image: link to

  15. Xzi says:

    I would request VR support for this but I think it would literally blow someone’s mind.

    • Tinotoin says:

      I believe they’re planning PS4 VR support – not that that counts :P

  16. LuNatic says:

    So, it looks like Audiosurf, but with the bits that made Audiosurf entertaining taken out and replaced with epilepsy inducing flashes instead?

  17. trjp says:

    Ah – a preview of next month’s migraine – TAKE MY MONEY!

    Seriously tho, last time I got a buzz like this from a video it was for Rez – and Rez was fucking awesome…

  18. Unsheep says:

    Trump Trump Trump Trump…

  19. Foosnark says:

    This looks right up my alley.