Super Meat Boy Forever is a Nintendo Switch endless runner that doesn’t waste time showing you what’s up. Just like the original, it’s brutally difficult but…in a fair way. The levels are now longer and checkpoints are generously provided. And the platformer is still just as addictive and just-one-more-try-inducing given that you return to the action in the blink of an eye after you die.
The elephant in the room? The levels are procedurally generated.
I hate procedurally generated games. Over time, I’ve learned to not call game developers lazy when describing buggy games or the recycling of assets. (I’m looking at you rogue-likes). But…I gotta say, Team Meat does recycling assets right.
Just like with 2010’s Super Meat Boy, there’s a loose story thread in this endless runner 10 years in the making; instead of trying to save Bandage Girl, you’re now tasked with saving their offspring, Nugget. It’s not too deep but enough to make you feel like you’re making progress across four worlds containing multiple levels and boss fights.
What makes the levels work — and make it seem like they were made by level designers instead of a computer — is that they’re generated with smart design. You’re not outrunning ominous blades as much as you are outsmarting them and I’ve yet to reach a level where it makes me think that the game spit out a busted level through it’s procedurally-generated algorithm.
The other potential issue for some? It’s an endless runner. The original gave you complete freedom to move Meat Boy around the levels, whereas SBMF takes away that autonomy and instead heaves you in a direction and leaves you to deal with a game that is more timing and puzzle-based than its forebearer.
It makes for a different vibe when compared to Super Meat Boy, for sure. No doubt conjuring up thoughts that the template was maybe pursued to facilitate a mobile port in the future — where endless runners had quite a time proliferating years back — but it makes that up with plenty of new moves and enemies to launch into oblivion as you tap, tap your way to success.
So far Super Meat Boy Forever is making me reconsider my stance on developers recycling assets via procedurally-generated levels. We’ll see how I feel about it once I give it a more thorough playthrough — expect a full Super Meat Boy Forever review in the near future.