Remember that cross-over between Puyo Puyo and Sonic on the Sega Genesis called Dr Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine? Well Team Meat has come up with their own version of that for Super Meat Boy called Dr Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine. Is this puzzle take on the hard as nails platformer worth your time? Here is my review of the PlayStation 5 version.
Dr Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine’s story takes place after the events of Super Meat Boy Forever. Using the data he collected from Meat Boy the mad doctor has set out to create the perfect evil Meat Boy clone. Things don’t go so well and so he creates test chambers to send these clones through to get rid of all the imperfect ones. The game boasts well over 100 stages to play through split across six worlds. Getting right to the gameplay if you’ve played Puyo Puyo or something similar then you’ll know what to expect except the fact that this is quite a bit harder just like the actual Super Meat Boy games.
You’ll still be rotating and dropping Meat Boy clones onto the board to try and match four of the same kind together to clear them but you also have to be mindful of deadly hazards like saw-blades and electricity. If you so much as touch one of these then you have to start the level over so there is no forgiveness to be had here. There isn’t a lot about the game to say other than that as it really is just trying to match the clones while avoiding the hazards. Each world ends in a boss fight that just like the rest of the game can be quite tough. That difficulty will be something that may hinder some players in fact as there is no way to proceed unless you beat a level. There is no way to skip levels or make them easier. You either conquer the challenge set before you or pack your bags and go home.
The game looks great visually as it uses the same art style that the Super Meat Boy games have been using to date. There are lots of nice little animations and designs and they are paired with a catchy soundtrack from RIDICULON. Not only do you get new tracks made just for this game but you also get remixes of tracks from Super Meat Boy Forever. Are you a trophy hunter? Expect to bash your head against the wall as you seek to earn the Platinum in this game as you’ll have to beat every level and earn A+ ranks on them among other tasks.
Dr Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine is a brutal puzzle take on the IP and one that many players may find too tough to deal with. It can be rewarding beating these levels but with the auto-failing hazards you’ll be running into one wall after another trying to advance. Those who are most adept at these types of games will likely enjoy this the most while those seeking a bit more of a casual puzzle experience will want to look elsewhere.
*Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine is available now on PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. PlayStation 5 version reviewed. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.