Endless Runner = Endless Punishment
The original Super Meat Boy was released to the world in 2010 and gave way to the rise of the indie game. It definitely has its place in history as one of the greats. Now, a little over a decade later, the long-awaited sequel, Super Meat Boy Forever, is finally here.
A few years after the events of the original game, Meat Boy and Bandage Girl are living a happy life together. Not only that, they have welcomed a little bundle of joy into their lives; their daughter, Nugget. One peaceful day, Dr. Fetus (not a real doctor, mind you) decides to exact his revenge on Meat Boy by kidnapping poor, sweet, innocent (and maybe just a tad mischievous) Nugget.
Gameplay-wise, Super Meat Boy Forever takes a bit of a different approach to the genre, trading in the twitch style gameplay of the original for a more mobile-friendly “endless runner” style. Whether this is good or bad is subjective, but in this beard’s opinion, it takes a bit away from the overall experience. While Super Meat Boy allowed you to plan out and strategise your approach to a maze of deadly traps, Forever sends you headlong into randomised danger, forcing you into a more trial-and-error type of scenario.
And yes, I did say “randomised.” SMBF relies on randomly generated levels… well, more like randomly generated sections of levels. Level layout, traps, and enemies are all randomised and will change upon starting a new game, although the number of stages and BOSS BATTLES remain the same. Speaking of the bosses, the boss battles in Forever are probably my favourite part of the game. Keeping with the auto-runner style, Team Meat improvised to make the boss fights really work with the new style of gameplay.
While the original Super Meat Boy is still a staple in the gaming and speedrunning community, I really don’t see Super Meat Boy Forever having that same lasting appeal. The procedural generation of the levels makes for less strategy and more trial-and-error, which can wear down just about any platformer enthusiast. In SMB, every death felt like your fault. And I usually laughed whenever I did die. In level 2 of Forever alone, I died over 150 times, growing more and more frustrated with every death. And ultimately, I felt no sense of satisfaction once I completed the level like I would in the original game.
Super Meat Boy Forever isn’t a bad game by any means, but I do feel like it doesn’t have the same charm as the original. The endless runner style, while maybe more accessible to some, takes away from the challenge and adds more randomness to the game. I don’t feel like I can recommend it at full price, but if you can get it on sale it’s worth a play if you fancy yourself a platformer/auto-runner fan.
Review code provided
Platform: PC, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo, Mobile
Release Date: 16/04/2021
No. of Players: 1
Category: Platformer, Puzzle
Developer: Team Meat
Publisher: Team Meat
Download link: Microsoft Store