Brawl with meat-mecha in Extreme Meatpunks Forever

Extreme Meatpunks Forever

Four queer misfits living in a small desert town, making ends meet and trying to keep ahead of the half-witted fascist gangs that roam the streets. It’s a simple enough and very contemporary story… Right up until you get to the sun disappearing, the town being somewhere in the ‘Hellzone’ and the fist-fights using giant biomechanical meat-mecha. Welcome to Extreme Meatpunks Forever, an upcoming visual novel (with some realtime, low-fi robo brawling). The trailer is below.

I just spent the past half hour reading and brawling my way through the opening chapters of this bizarre little thing, and I’m still not entirely sure what I experienced, but I definitely liked it. The writing is fast and snappy and often funny and surprising, even if the intentional grammar flubs and pseudo-typed quirks in each character’s dialogue reminds me a little of Homestuck’s sprawling chat-logs. The mech combat itself is simple, but kinetic. It’s body-horror sumo wrestling, with you trying to beat your enemy’s meat (ooerr) senseless long enough to push them out of the ring.

The deliberately mismatched aesthetics of the game are fascinating and fun. Pastel-shaded protagonists, faceless antagonists, ASCII-art backgrounds, and bubbling masses of particles and sketchy programmer-art in the combat side of things. I’m definitely playing more of the preview build given to us, and recommend you check it out once the first two episodes are released on July 19th. Subsequent episodes then follow on August 2nd, 16th, 30th and the series ends with episode 6 on September 13th.

Underneath the meatmad fantasy setting, Extreme Meatpunks Forever gets pretty damn real, pretty damn fast. It’s a story about a band of gay oddballs who stick together out of necessity in a painfully hostile world. Moments of tenderness and understanding are broken up by a procession of faceless and utterly loathsome fascist arseholes who seem to delight in nothing but the suffering of others. There’s anger here, and righteous indignation, and fear. It’s raw, bloody, tough, and not the slightest bit concerned with civility, and that’s just how it has to be.

EXTREME MEATPUNKS FOREVER Season 1: POWERED BY BLOOD begins on July 19th, and you should probably follow it on Itch.io here. While you’re there, check out Heather Robertson’s many other games on Itch.io.

12 Comments

  1. April March says:

    Wow. There’s nothing about this that I don’t like.

    Well… OK, I don’t like episodic games that much. But I think it’s a kind of thing that’s just waiting to find the way that it’ll work, so I’ll support it. 👍

  2. automatic says:

    I wonder why this thematic isn’t present on better produced commercial games for a change. I would never skip a good game because the protagonists are gay but I have a serious trouble playing something with such low attention given to visuals. I know good visuals is not a requirement for a game to be good(right now there’s a link to a Dwarf Fortress article right beside this comment box) but I sincerely don’t miss Atari 2600 gameplay.

    • brucethemoose says:

      A few years ago, I would’ve said it’s cheaper and easier when you don’t care about visuals.

      On the other hand, with the various, affordable engines and assets out there, that’s a weak excuse. Yes there are exceptions with their own reasons (just try making Dwarf Fortress in Unity), but I don’t see one here.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Dwarf Fortress might actually be better in Unity. It certainly couldn’t be worse. It’s a horribly-programmed mess.

        Like, the reason it took so long to release Mac/Linux versions of a text-only game is that it didn’t actually use text. It used Windows/DirectX graphics routines to display bitmap copies of ANSI characters. Yeah.

        • brucethemoose says:

          I was thinking of voxels/terrain, but that’s silly, as now that I think about it tons of Unity games deal with that.

          So yeah… you’re right, Dwarf Fortress is a bad example.

    • podbaydoors says:

      Aesthetic choices you don’t like ≠ lack of craft or ability.

  3. Reivles says:

    Ho dang, this game’s theme makes me have a nostalgia hit … for a game I can barely remember.

    Might’ve been a video game, might’ve been a board game (my memories are that fuzzy, wow), but I remember it was something about using big ugly mutant monsters-as-mecha who battled with each other, with the key resource being Meat? Like, you could attack other characters, and when you hit them they’d lose meat, and you could grab it for yourself.

    I didn’t like it much, but now I can’t for the life of me remember what it even was…

  4. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    Are they charging money for this?

  5. A_Rude_gesture says:

    Missed opportunity to not use this awesome song by Los Fastidios (link to youtube.com) to illustrate the article.
    Or why not some Queercore, like Limp Wrist?
    Anyway, looks like a cool game and it’s a thematic that needs to be more commonplace in the heterocentric/CIS-world of computer games.

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