If Mewgenics were an actual cat, it would be approaching its twilight years. It's been nearly 11 years since Edmund Mcmillen, known for Super Meat Boy and Binding Of Isaac, first announced that the mysterious cat breed 'em up would be Team Meat's next game. The cats wound up waiting outside while they worked on other things, but we now have a much more concrete idea of what the game is.
The developers have actually been posting extensive development updates since January, but McMillen also just recorded an adhoc TikTok video where he points his phone at his screen. Turns out Mewgenics is a turn-based strategy roguelike with wizard cats who can cut their paws while opening windows. Could be worth the wait!
@edmundmcmillen Replying to @Lord Heisenberg III fine herr is some footage #mewgenics #bindingofisaac #thebindingofisaac #cat #indiegames ♬ original sound - Edmund McMillen
Mewgenics has shifted form over the years, from the unknowable progeny of dancing clown scientists to real-time action brawlers. Forget that! It's a turn-based tactics game now, with cats that hew to traditional classes like rogues, mages and tanks. You're on some kind of adventure through alleyways and who knows where else, doing battle with abilities that cost mana points. McMillen mentions "you breed cats at home", but we don't get much of a look at that.
In a structure I can't help but call Spire-esque, between fights you'll encounter events that imbue your cats with traits that both hinder and help. In the vid we see Tobby the cat encounter a window, which McMillen deigns to have him open rather than examine thanks to his relatively higher strength. It leaves Tobby with glass embedded in his paws, which inflict bleeding on both himself and his enemies. "Every negative thing also has an upside too", McMillen says.
Back in March 2021 he described Mewgenics as "like a bunch of things, but not like anything else. It really feels like Final Fantasy Tactics meets Pokémon meets some sort of D&D-type adventure game, with an Animal Crossing hub".
I had very little idea of how to picture that, but this footage has me sold. It's more traditionally tactics-ey than I might have thought, but lathered in McMillen's trademark mash-up of the charming and the grotesque. It seems like another game ripe to come alive through all the little touches, like the way that cat looks around suspiciously when McMillen gives him a little scrap metal hat.
You can find out more on the game's Steam page, including this overview of Mewgenics' protracted history and the most recent post's breakdown of elemental effects. I had no idea we already knew so much.
McMillen ends his vid by saying they'll release "actual high-resolution gameplay runs" either later this year or next, with no release date yet set.