Super Meat Boy is renowned for being one of the most brutally difficult platformers of its generation, and its successor, Super Meat Boy Forever, certainly looks to uphold that reputation. Originally envisioned as a mobile-friendly version of the first Super Meat Boy, Forever eventually grew into a full-blown sequel, with more levels, characters, and cutscenes--not to mention a bigger budget--than developer Team Meat could achieve with the first title.
The game also makes some dramatic changes to Super Meat Boy's formula. This time around, Meat Boy and Bandage Girl are both playable, and the two can punch, kick, and slide through levels. Perhaps the most radical departure, however, is that Forever is an auto-runner. Meat Boy and Bandage Girl now barrel through levels automatically, with players responsible for timing their jumps over buzzsaws, chasms, and other deadly hazards scattered throughout each stage.
This streamlined gameplay translates into a much more accessible experience than the original Super Meat Boy, as players can navigate through the game's many hazard-laden levels using only two buttons. As we quickly learned from our hands-on time with the title, however, this greater accessibility doesn't necessarily make it any less challenging than its predecessor.
Unlike the original Super Meat Boy, Forever's levels are procedurally generated. Each is comprised of set "level chunks," but those are arranged differently each time you enter the stage, keeping the experience unpredictable. In typical Meat Boy fashion, they're also littered with obstacles, requiring quick reflexes, precise timing, and some muscle memory to successfully clear.
We got a chance to check out Super Meat Boy Forever at PAX East 2018. In the video above, you can see Team Meat co-founder and Forever's creative director Tommy Refenes showcase a few levels from the upcoming platformer. Refenes also shows off a couple of the game's Dark World stages, which offer a more challenging take on its standard levels.
Super Meat Boy Forever is in development for Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC, and mobile devices. Team Meat hasn't announced a release date for the game yet, but it is slated to launch this year, with the Switch version set to arrive first.