Super Meat Boy

Moby ID: 48877
Xbox 360 Specs
Buy on Windows
$2.99 new on Steam

Description official descriptions

Meat Boy is a small sentient cube of meat. He loves his girlfriend Bandage Girl, a girl made of bandages, and Bandage Girl loves Meat Boy. However, nobody loves Dr. Fetus, a fetus in a jar clad in a tuxedo, so Dr. Fetus hates everybody...especially Meat Boy. Dr. Fetus decides to kidnap Bandage Girl, and so Meat Boy must chase after Dr. Fetus and rescue her! Is he a bad enough dude to rescue his girlfriend?

Super Meat Boy is a fast-paced scrolling platformer based on the earlier online Flash game Meat Boy. Meat Boy's only abilities are to run, jump, wall jump, and die. As the game's defining feature is its extreme difficulty, he will die a lot. To counteract this, each stage is short -- sometimes only a few seconds, sometimes up to a minute or so -- and upon death the player will immediately be returned to the start for another attempt. If Meat Boy manages to reach Bandage Girl, she is then swept away once more by Dr. Fetus, and the player moves on the next stage. After clearing enough stages in each chapter, the player can then fight the boss of that area, who must be defeated to move on to the next chapter.

The game features over 300 stages across seven chapters, including retro-style bonus stages, boss stages, and even higher-difficulty variants of every normal stage in the game. The Xbox 360 release also includes a special chapter called "Teh Internets", where the developers can release new level packs free of charge on a regular basis.

There are also more than a dozen playable characters making guest appearances from other indie games, including Tim from Braid, the Alien Hominid, and Gish. Characters are unlocked either through retro bonus stages hidden within the normal stages, or by collecting bandages hidden in many of the game's levels. Each version of the game contains a slightly different set of unlockable characters.

The player's best times are recorded for each stage and uploaded to a global leaderboard. Also, after completing a stage, a replay is shown that simultaneously displays every single attempt the player made, which can also be saved.

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Credits (Xbox 360 version)

96 People (48 developers, 48 thanks) · View all

Reviews

Critics

Average score: 89% (based on 70 ratings)

Players

Average score: 3.8 out of 5 (based on 64 ratings with 2 reviews)

One of the finest platformers in recent memory.

The Good
Super Meat Boy is something of a curiosity of modern game development. It's unabashedly hardcore, but also immediately accessible. It's maddeningly difficult, but also surprisingly forgiving. It's undeniably retro, yet also somewhat progressive. Some have called it this generation's Super Mario Bros...though the shortening to SMB is, as the developers claim, a complete coincidence.

The premise is simple: Reach the end of each stage. After the first few worlds, though, the execution required is far less simple. Buzzsaws, lava pits, mountains of used needles, and even plain ol' bottomless pits are strategically placed to put your platforming skills to the test. And skill you will need to reach the end. The controls are pitch-perfect, and there were only very rare instances in which I died and had anyone but myself to blame.

The levels are designed with the controls completely in mind, and almost every one is sublime. In the latter parts of the game, many stages will at first glance appear impossible. Meat Boy will march to his death many times as you figure out the proper path -- and perhaps even a dangerous shortcut or two -- through the stage, and by the time you clear it you'll be zooming around like nobody's business. It's rarely frustrating either, as upon death the restart is almost instantaneous, and when you finally clear the stage you're treated to a replay of every single attempt simultaneously. it's both hilarious and cathartic to watch that army of Meat Boys as their numbers slowly thin out until only one remains to reach the goal.

Nearly every stage in the game also has what's called a "dark world" stage. These are alternate versions of the normal stages, with tweaks to make them more difficult...sometimes a lot more difficult. Despite this, the game is never unfair about the difficulty. You don't have to complete every stage in a chapter to go to move on, and you don't even need to touch the dark world to complete the game.

There are also "warp zones" hidden in a handful of stages, which will transport Meat Boy to a retro-style throwback set of three stages, with the addition of a lives limit. These come complete with retro-style title cards provided by a wide variety of indie games luminaries, and are particularly cool. Many warp zones will even unlock bonus characters from other titles when completed. Even more can be earned by collecting hidden collectible bandages in many of the stages. The sheer amount of content within the game -- more than 300 stages, with more planned to be added regularly, and more than a dozen playable characters -- is astounding for the asking price.

The visuals match the offbeat style, and are very bright, colorful, and animated. Small animals wander about and flee from Meat Boy, often straight into waiting buzzsaws. It's very much a Flash cartoon, Adult Swim kind of aesthetic, but the simple visuals mean there's little to distract from the level design. There are numerous variations and wonderful touches, though. Many characters leave trails behind as they move, providing a visual record of where in the stage you've been. Some stages are even presented in silhouette. The sound is fantastic as well: The soundtrack is consistently catchy, but never obnoxious, and the sound effects are suitably juicy.

The Bad
Despite the high praise I've given above, no game is perfect, and this is no exception. Perhaps the biggest problem is the bugs. I'm not going to say a two-man dev team on a shoestring budget should produce a bug-free game, but there are a few fairly obvious bugs that crept into release, and have ruined several peoples experiences due to lost data, broken leaderboards, and inaccurate stat tracking. As of this writing, a patch is being readied, but is not yet available, so I must warn any who plan to play this game to be careful as there are workarounds for these issues.

As for the game itself, while the main stages and bonus stages are almost universally well-designed, the boss stages often fall flat. Most of them simply feel like a regular stage with the addition of being chased, with the most memorable actually being simply a race against a similarly-skilled opponent, and the worst a simple pattern memorization routine. Perhaps it's not that they're particularly bad, they just feel a bit unnecessary and tacked on.

My only other complaint is towards the replays. Now, the replays themselves, with the dozens of attempts played simultaneously, are very cool. The problem is that there's no way to share these replays with your friends. While it's fun to try to beat your friends' times on the leaderboards, it would be even better to be able to play against their replay. It's also unfortunate that when viewing replays, the menu music plays rather than the stage music.

The Bottom Line
Super Meat Boy is not a game for everyone, but it is a game for anyone seeking a challenge, has a love of platformers, or simply enjoys a finely-crafted game. It isn't perfect, but it's pretty darn close.

Xbox 360 · by j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】 (92181) · 2010

Yes, it's hard, that doesn't make it a good game

The Good
Meat Boy is quite charming, I must admit that. How can anybody not like a protagonist that is made out of several dollars worth of meatballs, I might have a lot of mean things to say about this game (apparently having a negative opinion about certain games is considered mean), but the character is certainly not one of them. He deserves a real game, maybe even a job at Nintendo or Microsoft, the xbox 360 really needs a platforming franchise.

I really like the replay at the end of each level, they don't just show how you made it through the course, but they also show every single attempt you did in one video (you see hundreds of Meat Boys exploding until only one makes it to the end). It was very cool to watch and I also like it how you can save these clips. I haven't tried it, but I hope it saves them in a .avi file or something, so you can upload it to Youtube or watch it without starting the game up,

The Bad
My biggest complaint is the difficulty, a lot of people praise this, but I think it's false advertising. When I saw this game for the first time, I figured it was a nice game for my little sister, it's not really violent and Meat Boy looked like the game would contain a lot of good humor. I have been playing this game for two week now and I can just barely play it myself, my sister can't even get past the beginning stages. I am currently at the second boss, but no, I am done with this game, I have seen everything it has to offer and I don't want to play it anymore. I like challenge, what I don't like is levels that look like they were designed for a Super Mario World rom hack.

The graphics are a huge disappointment and I once again feel betrayed, the only screenshot I ever saw was from the world select and I didn't know that, so I thought it was some kind of 3D platforming game similar to Super Mario Galaxy, but what I got is a freaking Flash game. These guys have to be kidding, you play these kind of games on Newgrounds.com, you don't pay seven euros for them on Steam, how greedy can a person possibly get? This is also one of the laziest flash games ever, the characters look like they are fresh from Atari 2600.

There is a severe lack of humor except for a few cut-scenes that happen before and after boss-fights. I don't know if this is something that will show up later in the game, but if there is something I learned from my work as a writer it's that you should always do everything you can to suck people in, that means showing what they can expect later in the game, so they don't just put it down after three stages because it's boring.

I really hate it that there is no sound when you start up the game, then you get a music that is a bit loud on the screen that says "press start AND THEN you get incredibly loud music on the menu-screen. Was this game designed by people or freaking monkeys, this isn't fun, it's incredibly annoying. The music during the stages is incredibly bland and soft, I didn't even notice it, so it goes from nothing to loud and then back to nothing, great, just great.

The goal is to save Meat Boy's girlfriend - Bandage Girl - from an evil scientist, okay, I like it that the game doesn't try to tell a complex story in a game that people clearly aren't playing for the story, but there is still a big problem: The goal of each individual stage is to get to Bandage Girl, who serves as the finish line. Every single stage you save her and every single time she is taken away again, that's like if every single temple in the Zelda games had Ganondorf as the final boss, what would make his death at the end of the game more permanent than the rest?

The Bottom Line
Aside from a character that is quite interesting, there is just nothing good about this game. It's too hard, the graphics would shame the original Super Mario Bros. and the story is messed up. This game really deserved a better developer, one that knew how a difficulty curve works and how to keep people interested for long enough, it would also be nice if they didn't hire seven year old kids to design their characters.

Die-hard fans of platforming games will probably like this game and think I just hate it because I suck at it, you could say, I don't like this game because the difficulty curve is insane, but I dislike it for several other reasons which all form a beautiful pile called "Super Meat Boy". There are some coins somewhere in that pile, but do you really want to dig through that stuff?

Windows · by Asinine (957) · 2011

Trivia

Development history

The game's developers envisioned Super Meat Boy as a "flagship" indie game, which is why there are a large number of guest characters from other indie titles. They originally wanted to also include Quote from Cave Story and Lemeza Kosugi from La•Mulana, but the developers of those games declined the request.

Though it was originally announced as a WiiWare exclusive title, the WiiWare release was eventually canceled in December 2010. The developers were unable to get the file within Nintendo's size limit of 40MB without cutting most of the music. They also stated that a disc release was unlikely, as the publishers they contacted said there is no money in third-party retail for the Wii.

Inspiration

Each of the introductions to the different game worlds is based on a famous video game. The scenery is re-envisioned and of course replaced with the characters from Super Meat Boy:* World 1: Street Fighter II * World 2: Castlevania * World 3: Adventures of Lolo * World 4: Ninja Gaiden * World 5: Mega Man 2 * World 6: Pokémon Blue * World 7: Ghosts 'N Goblins * World 0 (XBLA exclusive): Bubble Bobble

The Super Mario games also offered a lot of inspiration for various more general design choices. The replay system was inspired by the Quantum Mario video.

Iron Man Runs

The PC version has additional achievements called Iron Man Runs. Every chapter has this achievement and it is obtained by completing 20 levels in a chapter in succession, without being killed once. It was left out of the Xbox 360 version because Microsoft limits the amount of achievements to 12 for XBLA games.

Level editor

An official level editor for the Windows version of the game was released on 5th May 2011. It is added automatically through a Steam update.

Parodies

In December 2010, animal rights organization PETA released a free flash parody of Super Meat Boy called Super Tofu Boy. SMB developers Team Meat took it as a complement, and in turn added Tofu Boy as a hidden playable character to the PC version of Super Meat Boy the very next day. Tofu Boy boasts incredibly low mobility, and it is impossible to finish most stages using him. They also posted a response to PETA on their Twitter account: "How many Peta members does it take to change a lightbulb?.... None, Peta can't change anything." In December 2010 Dutch developer Vlambeer also responded to PETA's parody, with a game: Super Puppy Boy.

Sales

As of 2012, the game sold over one million copies. About 750.000 of those copies were sold on PC.

Unlockable characters

Many of the playable characters that are unlocked by completing warp zones and collecting bandages come from famous indie games. Each character has a different ability.* Alien Hominid (Alien Hominid games - Xbox 360 version and Windows Ultra Edition only) * Commander Video (Bit. Trip series) * Flywrench (Flywrench) * Gish (Gish - Xbox 360 version only) * Goo Ball (World of Goo - PC version only, replaced with Headcrab in the Steam release, but there is a code to unlock it in that version as well) * Headcrab (Half-Life series - PC version only and exclusive to the Steam release) * Jill (Mighty Jill Off) * Josef (Machinarium - PC version only) * Mr. Minecraft (Minecraft - PC version only) * Naija (Aquaria - PC version only) * Ogmo (Jumper!) * Pink Knight (Castle Crashers - Xbox 360 version only) * RunMan (RunMan series - PC version only) * Spelunky (Spelunky - Xbox 360 version only) * The Kid (I Wanna Be The Guy: The Movie: The Game) * The Ninja (N series - Xbox 360 version only) * Tim (Braid - Xbox 360 version only) * Tofu Boy (Super Tofu Boy - PC version only) * Viridian (VVVVVV - PC version only)

Awards

  • Steam Awards
    • 2016 — The 'Love/Hate Relationship' Award — Nominated

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Contributors to this Entry

Game added by j.raido 【雷堂嬢太朗】.

Windows added by Viuls. Android added by GTramp. Nintendo Switch added by Kam1Kaz3NL77. Linux, Wii U, Macintosh, PS Vita, PlayStation 4 added by Sciere.

Additional contributors: Sciere, Havoc Crow, Cantillon, Patrick Bregger, click here to win an iPhone9SSSS.

Game added October 30, 2010. Last modified February 16, 2024.