There are a few games that come to mind when discussing the rebirth of indie games. To me,
no game is more synonymous with bringing indies back into mainstream gaming than Super
Meat Boy. Created by Edmund McMillen and Tommy Refenes and developed by Team Meat,
Super Meat Boy is a juggernaut among famous indie games. It boasts some of the hardest
platforming gameplay amongst the genre as well as unmistakable charm of the characters. With
the Switch release in 2018 I wanted to talk about what makes Super Meat Boy so great!
First and foremost for those that may not know, Super Meat Boy is a tough as nails traditional
2D platformer with tight controls on the level of legends like Super Mario 3 or Mega Man 2. Meat
Boy has loads of content available within seven worlds containing roughly 42 stages each and it
has close to 300 levels total. That sheer amount of content alone makes this game worth a look,
but what makes this game so special?
Super Meat Boy pays homage to the great games that paved the way for its creation. World
intros are inspired by the likes of Street Fighter, Ninja Gaiden, Pokemon and Mega Man 2, to
name a few! The game is full of references and easter eggs for those who look closely, but it’s is
not a copy of any of these games. It is a masterclass in platforming games with stellar level
design, loads of variety and different characters. Most of the other notable and playable
characters are notable characters from other indie titles like Tim from “Braid” and the Kid from “I
Wanna Be The Guy.” The levels to unlock the Kid are some of the hardest levels in any game
ever made, and yes I completed to them. It took over three hours for just three one-screen
levels, but the sense of accomplishment from beating any of the challenging levels in Super
Meat Boy always feels great!
Super Meat Boy is special not only because it is well put together, but what it did for the indie
game community. This game, along with Fez and Braid, were all featured in “Indie Game the
Movie” and are responsible for the rebirth of the indie gaming scene. These titles launched a
Renaissance, so to speak, for gaming and all of a sudden we were seeing more 8 and 16 bit
games coming out from smaller teams. The games of old are making a return and are here to
stay. This is largely in part of Kickstarter campaigns and because the indie developers are fans
of the NES and SNES era games. Gamers making games for gamers. Because of Super Meat
Boys success more developers have stepped up to put their games into the world and now we
have games like “Cuphead” that have a huge following and funding from Microsoft. Hopefully
this will stay as the trend for coming years.
I have to say that the 30 hours I spent playing Super Meat Boy are some of the most fun I’ve
had with any game in recent history. It left a lasting impression on me of what a small team with
passion can really do. I would recommend this game to anyone, even just try out because it
deserves everyone’s attention, and with the sequel “Super Meat Boy Forever” coming to PC
and console later this year, there really isn’t a better time to play!