I was sent Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine as a review code. I am very grateful for this opportunity, but won’t let it sway my opinions. This will be an honest review of the game.
I covered Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine in a previous post when I got to try the game early at GDC. While I didn’t get to finish the demo, I liked the game enough to want to play more of it. The game is cute, unique, and challenging. After spending more time with the game, my opinions remain mostly unchanged, but I’ve got a few addendums I’d like to make.
Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine is a match-four game like you’ve never played before. Dr. Fetus has created a machine to clone his own Meat Boy. With your help, he will weed out the undesirable traits and build the perfect Meat Boy with what is left. To beat a level, you must match colors to fill the meter while avoiding hazards like saws or missiles. Levels start easy, but they quickly become impossible. Dr. Fetus slowly introduces new hazards that will make levels frustratingly bloodied. Do not be tricked by the false sense of security this game may give you. After completing a set number of levels, you can face off against a boss and move on to a new world. Bosses are hard and are sure to claim a few controllers.
I enjoyed this game a lot, but it isn’t something I can play to completion. While each level offers unique challenges and mechanics, the gameplay grows stale. As good of a match-four game, as this is, my attention span can only handle so much matching. This is going to be a game you come back to when you want something different, but still want a challenge. Unless you are someone that likes to collect achievements, or good at these kinds of games, I don’t see people finishing this game in one go.
The game’s difficulty is going to be the main barrier to entry. While I didn’t have an issue with the difficulty, I can see how the frustration it generates can kill its enjoyment. Some levels are annoying, and others feel slow because of their mechanics. As frustrated as I got with this game, I still found myself going back for more. The key to enjoying this game is taking breaks.
So is this game worth it? for $10 it is. The game is easy to get into, challenging enough to keep you invested, and the art is super cute. It is sad watching the clones die, but you quickly get desensitized. This is a great game to buy if you are in the market for a game that isn’t a huge investment. There isn’t a complicated story you need to remember or difficult mechanics to memorize. You can return to this game after long breaks and remember where you left off, and why you put it down in the first place. Dr. Fetus’ Mean Meat Machine is a frustrating simple game you will enjoy if you are the cool kind of masochist.
Dr. Fetus Mean Meat Machine is available now for $9.99 on the Switch, Xbox, PlayStation, and PC via Steam, Epic Games Store, and GOG. A demo is also available on the Switch, Steam, and Epic Games Store.