Rumpus: An Homage to the Couch-Crowding Beat ‘Em Ups (Demo)

Intro / Story

Rumpus, a game developed by PolyraptorGames, is a 4 person, local multiplayer beat ‘em up that pays homage to the classic games that created the genre. The game focuses around contestants that are trying to win a competition of skill and wit, hosted by Mr. Rumpus himself. Although the game still has some development before it’s release, it has been recently Greenlit by Steam. While we await the full version, I got to spend some time with the demo.

rumpus character selection screen

*There are four players to choose from, they do not have special abilities, but each have their own Taunts.

The Rumpus demo does a great job of giving the player an idea of what’s to come for the full game. It starts with a simple menu for player selection and other options. There wasn’t much in terms of storyline or setting, though it is not hard to understand the concept of the game. You simply select your character, get a brief introduction into the controls and abilities, and are set against each other for a battle royale.

This is a simple fighting game that doesn’t rely heavily on dialogue or tutorials, instead gearing players to master the combos that are possible between throwing boxes, create shockwaves for deflection, or even engage in melee combat. Much like Terraria, you’ll have to learn as you play.  The TV show, win-a-contest setting is reminiscent of SMASH TV from 1990 and brings back feelings of nostalgia. Rumpus successfully emulates the intensity and fast-pace that SMASH TV (and the genre that followed) was known for.

smash tv title screen

*The game that created the genre, SMASH TV was released in 1990 in arcades and later home consoles.

Since I only played the demo, there wasn’t much dialogue or story-line besides the initial exposure to the setting. This allows for some breathing room when the full game is released, as the developers can choose to create a full story-line that will inform the player on the inner workings of the contest, why it’s being held, who Mr. Rumpus is and his motivations.

Back stories on the characters and their reason for competing would be a nice addition, as well. Though neither are needed to make this game any better. The action is more than enough to stand on it’s own feet.

rumpus city level

*A level for the Rumpus competition, loaded with breakable floors, throwable objects, and a distant backdrop of a futuristic city.

Gameplay / Controls

Playing against your friends in local multiplayer is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to enjoy proving your skill against your friends. This game operates with such speed and intensity that you’ll have to be on your toes almost the entire match. If you slip up for just a moment, it will be very likely that you will have taken a hit and been flung from the map.

The controls for this game are simple to learn, but difficult to master. Skilled players will notice that combos and skill shots are definitely possible once you understand the dynamics of the game. Launching objects from across the map to knock players off screen or timing your shockwave to deflect attacks (or even charge AT them) are just two of the ways I noticed you can catch your opponents off guard.

rumpus indie game

*Steve, from Accounting and an unknown contestant having a staring contest on the battlefield.


The music is bouncy and electronic, featuring fun melodies and providing a full experience when combined with the gameplay. It only serves to bolster the experience on the players by keeping the tension high and the pace quick. It’s definitely enjoyable to say the least.

rumpus game review

*A number of contestants to choose from, 4 of which are included in the demo.


Rumpus follows similar designs to other pixelated games with one exception, each character model is drawn by hand. This can be made clear in the very opening of the game, as you notice Mr. Rumpus looks particularly cartoonish in his movements. These sprites all have individual designs and motions that simply look great. All of the animations within this game are fluid and work well with the controls.


mr rumpus game show

*Mr. Rumpus calls the winner after every match.

Final Thoughts

Rumpus is a modern interpretation of the multiplayer-focused battle games that were popular in the 90s and early 00s. With its extreme fast paced, great graphics and design, and impeccable soundtrack, it has me excited for the full release. This is definitely a game you’ll want in your Steam Library, especially if you have some friends over and want to relive the glory days of gaming. There is definitely a lot of potential here and I’m personally excited for what the full game will have to offer.



I've been playing video games a really long time; shortly after learning to walk. Check out my other writing and follow me on Twitter . SNES over Genesis. Undisputed Mortal Kombat 4 champion.

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