Unleashing the Cosmic Dance: "Thrasher" Sets the Gaming World Ablaze

A new star is born in the infinite firmament of video games, about to strike through the virtual firmament with its colourful light beams and mind-expanding play. This is ‘Thrasher’, a psychedelic opus, set to transport players into a reality as vibrant and surreal as it is unreal. Out this July, it’s a game, but also: an intergalactic, neon-infused ride through colourful environments, made by the Thumper designer Brian Gibson, with coding master Mike Mandel.

A Portal to Psychedelic Realms

The Game That Dares to Dream

‘Thrasher’ is a ray of light in the games landscape, and a new kind of experience we’ll see first on the Meta Quest, and soon on the Apple Vision Pro (and, yes, with a SteamVR edition in development). The dev team itself claims the experience to be a ‘mind-melting arcade action odyssey.’ It’s a promise that gets my own heart racing, both as someone with years under my belt, and as a newcomer.

Navigating the Neural Odyssey

At the centre of this puzzle box called ‘Thrasher’ is an enigmatic space eel, as distinct as its environment. The player must shepherd the snake-like traveller through worlds of non-Euclidean logic, avoiding obstacles via ‘fast-paced gesture controls’ in an attempt to stay alive long enough to evolve and, ultimately, confront a cosmic god. This is no gameplay as much as it is gestural hoofing through a neon fever-dream, bump and grind punctuated here and there by tests of skill and perception.

The Symphony of Sight and Sound

A Fusion of Art and Arcadia

Thrasher, then, is not a game to play; it’s a song to listen to. The synthesis of sound and image is tightly linked to the symbiosis between Gibson’s design, as an artist and composer, and Mandel’s technology, as a programmer. As a result, the visuals, sounds and gameplay of Thrasher all seem to demand the same thing: the player’s immersion in an intense, mesmerising stream of intricate visual stimuli and ear-splitting sounds. Inspired by psychedelic neons, zig-zag prisms and fractal symmetries, Thrasher’s aesthetic is an exercise in the use of bold, contrasting colours and hard-edged, regular geometric shapes in the service of its relentless mechanical procedures.

Empowering the Eel: Beyond Gameplay

The weaponry of the space eel is as trippy as its setting, enabling the player to spray the screen with a rainbow of bullets, or carve a hole through the scenery with a light display. Not only do these powers serve a tactical function, but they also amplify the visual and aural environment, firmly indicating that ‘Thrasher’ prefers a gameplay style that’s as much about spectacle as it is about action.

Anticipation Builds: A Future Beyond VR

Although the most obvious appeal of ‘Thrasher’ lies in its VR iteration, a chance to ride along inside its glistening digital universe, the buzz leading up to a console and PC release speaks to the game’s broader appeal. A chance to ‘go trippy’ will be accessible to throngs of players – a signal that, if it is indeed rolled out, ‘Thrasher’ could not only become the prototype for psychedelic gaming, but set the new gold standard.

The Thrasher Phenomenon: A New Gaming Gospel

But when ‘Thrasher’ eventually premieres, whatever it turns out to be, it’ll be an embodiment of where imagination and collaboration – and wonder – triumph over technology, and vice versa. It’s a game where the rules can be broken. Where there’s no wrong way to play, and where the sky doesn’t always have to be the limit. It’s a game that, to players, could represent an odyssey or rite of passage that presages another kind of gaming frontier.


Consoles have long been the gateway to exotic and fantastic worlds and find their perfect expression in these experiences, so uniquely focused on offering the thrill of adventure in your living room. ‘Thrasher’ hints that it will soon emerge from VR and release on consoles and PC, an important way that it democratizes excellent games and allows more people to share in the advancements that the Shack bundle enables.

‘Thrasher’ is the promise of a neon splash on that video game history tapestry. “Thrasher” is the promise of a new mass experience, a shared experience of wonder and discovery. We don’t yet know what it will be, but we don’t have long to wait. When “Thrasher” comes out later this year, consoles will take us to a completely new planet of the imagination.

Jun 12, 2024
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