The lights are on
This indie gem is on its way to XBLA and WiiWare, and we took the adorable pile of meat for a test drive. Super Meat Boy is a remake and dramatic expansion of the Flash hit, Meat Boy, which released in 2008 to great fanfare in the indie community. Super Meat Boy tells the story of a wad of meat that is in love with the beautiful young Bandage Girl. Villainous Dr. Fetus kidnaps Bandage Girl, and Meat Boy is off to save his love. So, the story is pretty silly. But that's because the gameplay is the star of the show. Super Meat Boy features dozens of short platforming levels in the style of the ninja-vibe found in N+. Meat Boy can jump high, cling to walls, and navigate mid-air with great ease.
Bloody deaths are common, as levels tend to be filled with spinning saw blades and other implements of destruction. When you finally do beat a level, the game includes a great feature -- a replay that shows your successful path through the level, plus all the deaths you had along the way running simultaneously. On really hard levels, that means you'll be seeing dozens of Meat Boys flinging themselves into the grinder all at once.
Another awesome inclusion are warp zones scattered throughout the game's many levels. Usually, these zones are hidden and hard to reach. However, get inside the warp and you'll often be treated to a visit to a previous console generation. The levels within the warp zones are based on platforms like the NES, Atari 2600, and original Game Boy.
Perhaps as a nod to indie solidarity, developer Team Meat has included a number of unlockable characters in the game, all culled from other indie developers' well known games. Tim, the hero of Jonathan Blow's Braid, makes an appearance, along with CommanderVideo from the Bit.Trip games, and Alien Hominid from The Behemoth's hit title. In some cases, these characters will have special abilities culled from their original games that can be used to pass difficult challenges in the game.Super Meat Boy played great during our time with it, boasting tight, responsive controls, nearly instantaneous reloads after a death, and well-designed platforming levels that took real skill to surpass. The game is targeted for release on Xbox Live Arcade, WiiWare, and PC before the end of the year; it's one indie release we'll be watching with great anticipation.
Email the author Matt Miller, or follow on Game Informer.