Indie Games – Meat Boy

I have a love/hate relationship with Meat Boy. At times, I hate its relentless difficulty, level design, narrow platforms and even the developers. But once I complete a given level, I love how immensely gratifying the whole experience can be and let me tell you, it’s been a while since a game has made me feel that way. For the uninitiated, Meat Boy is a flash game developed by Jonathan McEntee and Edmund McMillen on 2008. Nevertheless, most will probably recognize the title for being the predecessor of the critically-acclaimed indie gem, Super Meat Boy. On the surface, Meat Boy is a platformer very reminiscent of classic titles such as Mario, Sonic, Ghosts’n Goblins and most of all Mega Man. The comparison to the latter isn’t coincidental, mind you, for Meat Boy is one of the most difficult games I’ve played in years.

In the game, you control a little chunk of meat called Meat Boy, a character who’s trying to rescue his girlfriend Bandage Girl from Dr. Fetus. The main objective of each level is to guide Meat Boy to Bandage Girl, while avoiding environmental hazards such as crumbling blocks, saw blades, fire, salt and so on. The basic control is extremely simple: arrow keys are used for movement and the space bar is used for jumping, but making use of these tools requires precision. The physics are really well-designed, allowing you to perform quick movements and seemingly impossible jumps. But let me tell you that the feeling of immense reward after successfully completing a really difficult level is beyond words. Even when the nightmarish difficulty may put some people off, fans of platformers should definitely check Meat Boy out.

If you’re interested in trying Meat Boy, head to Newgrounds where the game can be played for free.