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Monday, 15 January 2018

Review: Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy

Rescue Bandage Girl from the Evil Dr. Fetus... But die a lot in the process.

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Super Meat Boy
Team Meat | Nintendo Switch | Digital Only
1-2 Players (Local Only)
Reviewed by - Curtis Chapman

* Review Code Provided by: Team Meat *

Super Meat Boy makes the Switch its latest home. Released in 2010, the iconic indie character has already graced over 10 devices. Released for the Switch on 11/01/18 at the tidy sum of £11.99, Nintendo’s new handheld proves the perfect way to enjoy some precision platform action is by throwing a smiling, bloody lump of meat around the screen.

It feels slightly blasphemous to admit that I’ve never played Super Meat Boy before now. Having been released multiple times over its 8-year life it has taken arriving on the Nintendo Switch, coincidently coupled with my renewed love of handhelds, to finally dip my toes into this masochistic pool of meat.

For those in the minority who have yet to experience the chaos that is Super Meat Boy, its story can be summed up very simply: you play as a boy made of meat... his name is Meat Boy. Meat Boy must rescue his girlfriend, Bandage Girl (comprised of bandages) from the evil Dr Fetus, who hates everyone. That’s all really.

Super Meat Boy Screenshot 1

Gameplay sees Meat Boy running and jumping around each bite-sized level, avoiding the traps and pitfalls and leaving a bloody streak along the way. It’s refreshing to play a (retro-inspired) platformer that doesn’t contain the buzzwords “Rogue-Lite, Rogue-Like or Procedurally Generated”, that appears to be heavily emphasised in a lot of the indie games gravitating toward the Switch at the moment. Hundreds of levels have been meticulously crafted by hand to ensure that, if actually successfully completed, the player only manages to scrape by the meaty skin of their teeth.

Completing rewards you with a rather nifty instant replay of every single attempt you have made on the level this attempt. By overlapping them all on top of each other and playing them back at the same time, a beautiful picture of misery and death is painted onto the canvas, highlighting the highs and lows on your path to victory.

Super Meat Boy Screenshot 2

It is great to see that, unlike so many games, Meat Boy never automatically assumes that you instantly know how to overcome a challenge when it introduces a new gameplay mechanic. From the tutorial levels at the beginning, guiding you through basic play, to the later levels where teleports and moving platforms are introduced, Team Meat decides to slow the game's difficulty down at these points instead of expecting players to instantly overcome their trappings. Once you’ve got it, however, It is quickly ramping them back up to 11!

When you think you’ve mastered the timing and skill required to handle super Meat Boy the game then lets you know that it contains a “Dark Mode”, remixing the levels and cranking up the difficulty even further to almost completely remove the room for error, it’s an absolute blast to play.

The Switch Edition of Meat Boy also features an exclusive (for now) Race Mode. Two players can split the Joy-con and race against each other through a series of levels, vying for bragging rights. Races are tense and pressure fuelled slip-ups only add to the enjoyment. It’s the perfect competitive race mode, it’s just a real shame it’s not four players! Music and Art have been expertly handled with the game doing a grand job of replicated the intended style. Hidden warp level stages scattered throughout the game also feature (even more-so) retro-inspired art and music that does a fantastic job of replicating NES era gaming.

Super Meat Boy Screenshot 3

All in all, Super Meat Boy is a pleasure to play on the Nintendo Switch. Starting the game with no prior experience it was nice to see how accessible it was for newcomers, with success coming from a small amount of perseverance. Mastering the game is no walk in the park, however, as a more than rigorous set of challenges await for those willing to brave the intense, death-filled quest of attempting to discover all the games collectables and complete all the hidden levels; all without dying of course.


+ Perfect Length Levels for Portable Gaming
+ Tons of Content
+ Handcrafted Levels
+ Exclusive Race Mode

- No Four Player in Race Mode

Verdict: For the Win - Essential

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