Super Meat Boy splatters onto the Wii U

As a hero, Meat Boy isn’t exactly conventional. While it could be argued that in platform gaming there isn’t really such a thing as a conventional hero given the genre stars all types, from Italian plumbers to supersonic hedgehogs, but all of them at least all have one thing in common. Namely they have skin/fur/scales to contain their squidgy insides. Not so with Meat Boy. This plucky little cube of meat leaves bloody trails wherever he goes. Fortunately, this isn’t as gruesome as it sounds as the graphics in Super Meat Boy are in an old-school 8-bit style.

Meat Boy’s motivation is to save his equally cuboid girlfriend, Bandage Girl, from the evil scientist, Dr Fetus. To do this he must take on a series of super-short platform levels to reach Bandage Girl before she’s whipped away by Dr Fetus at the end of each stage.

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What starts out as a simple hop, skip and jump to the end of each level very quickly becomes fiendishly tricky. All manner of obstacles such as spinning blades and fiery pits threaten to dispatch Meat Boy, making you start the level again. To be clear, this is both brilliant and teeth-gnashingly frustrating. When you do (finally) reach the end of a level you can watch a replay of all your attempts played at once showing the litany of failures that have befallen your hero. When you’ve really struggled with a level it’s mesmerising to watch 30 Meat Boys die at once in myriad ways.

Originally out on the last generation of consoles, there isn’t really a reason to pick up this latest offering on the Wii U if you already own it on another format. However, given the lack of titles being released on this unfairly neglected console, Super Meat Boy is a treat well worth buying if you’ve never come across it before. The humour is puerile, the concept is disgusting and the levels are frustrating. It’s 2D platforming bliss.

stars4
Team Meat
Wii U
£13 (12+)