The ultra-hard platformer Super Meat Boy is, fittingly enough, a follow up to a Flash game called Meat Boy. The game has you maneuvering a sentient block of meat around small but incredibly hostile stages, attempting to rescue Meat Boy’s girlfriend, Band-Aid Girl.
Super Meat Boy features about 300 stages of ego-deflating, platforming insta-death. You have unlimited lives and the game instantly respawns you after death. Successfully completing a stage takes less than a minute in most cases, but that’s invariably after a few dozen attempts. Once you’re done, the game records your time and shows you a replay of your last fifty or so tries, all running simultaneously.
True to its pedigree, Super Meat Boy contains numerous references to old school 8-bit games. There are retro levels that directly evoke the games of yesteryear, as well as more subtle nods, like distinctly familiar sound effects. One of the most interesting aspects of the title is the inclusion of numerous characters from other indie games. You can unlock playable versions of characters like Tim from Braid, Commander Video from Bit.Trip, the title character from Alien Hominid and even the ninja from N+. Many of these characters have special abilities or play styles wholly different from Meat Boy.
Super Meat Boy will be available on Xbox Live Arcade on October 20th, with PC and WiiWare versions to follow.