Team Meat want you to touch their boy

Those loveable indie scamps at Team Meat are working on a Super Meat Boy you can play on the move.

Fact: you can’t play Super Meat Boy properly without a controller. I”ll ramble ad nauseum about the superiority of mouse and WASD for first-person shooters, why RTS games never work as well on consoles and other PC Master Race snobbery, but even I will concede you can’t play Super Meat Boy on a keyboard. You can try of course. You can also try climbing the Appalachians with a dead horse chained to each ankle, pausing occasionally to let a grizzled mountain man mash your fingers into pulp and splinters with a rock. So when Team Meat announced on twitter they were prototyping a version of Super Meat Boy for touch-devices I did the proverbial double-take, mouthing “Wha-tuh-fuh?” and scratching my head in confusion.

A fully-fledged mobile Super Meat Boy comes as a bit of a surprise given Tommy Refenes speech at GDC 2010, where he compared Apple App Store games to the Tiger Electronics handhelds of the 80s and 90s. When have Team Meat ever been sane or predictable though? Besides, the crux of Tommy’s complaints wasn’t that all touch-platform games are crap because they’re not. I’m pretty sure some of his best friends are mobile developers. It’s that big titles like Street Fighter IV or Assassins Creed are only on there as marketing for that particular brand and are often a pale shadow of their progenitors, much like how the Tiger Electronics handheld Streetfighter II game was in no way comparable to the arcade version. That is unless you were a seriously weird kid who didn’t get out much.

Team Meat say they’re going for a complete re-envisioning made from scratch, larger and more traditional than something like Doodle Jump (their example, not mine). They also make it very clear Super Meat Boy’s touch incarnation won’t simply be a lazy port, since you can’t get much clearer than “IT WONT CONTROL LIKE SMB!!! we promise you we wont make a game with shitty touch controls.” Judging by those three exclamation marks I’d say they’re pretty serious about it. GAMElitist have a convenient summary of all the relevant tweets if you want to check them yourself without the hassle of slogging through twitter’s interface.

Since I love Super Meat Boy (in a strictly platonic sense, m’lud) I look forward to taking it for a spin on my iPhone and seeing how it shapes up. Assuming Apple don’t have a poster in their head office with Tommy Refenes’ picture above the words “PERSONA NON GRATA” in 36pt bold Times New Roman. That would be terrible.

Matt McDermott

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