Consider the strange case of the platformer: At the beginning of the ‘00s, the once ubiquitous genre birthed by Pitfall! and Super Mario Bros., where you run to the right and jump over and onto various beasties and platforms, was all but dead. By 2006, however, when New Super Mario Bros. hit the Nintendo DS and an entire generation of indie developers started making their own games, a veritable platformer renaissance kicked off. One of the standard bearers of that movement was Team Meat’s spectacular Super Meat Boy, a pristine example of game design’s strangest quirks, tight play, and hilarious parody. It’s been just over two years since the game hit, and now Team Meat is back. Having already tried its hand at platformers, the duo’s turned their eye to something decidedly different in Mew-genics.
Announced via a post on the studio’s website on Sunday, Mew-genics is a cat lady simulator. That is to say, the game is about a stereotypical recluse that hordes cats. What does that look like as a game. Something like a “cross between The Sims and Pokémon with a sprinkling of Animal Crossing and a dash of Tamagotchi.”
After citing the most well-known pet raising and town simulation games ever made, it’s not difficult to get a sense of how the game “that feels alive” might work, with caring for cats while also manipulating their environment to change conditions being the heart of the game. In practice, though, the game recalls David Crane’s seminal sim Little Computer People, a 1985 antecedent to Will Wright’s work on both The Sims and SimCity. That game was also about creating and manipulating living conditions when an artificial intelligence went about its life. Based on the beta screenshot of Mew-genics, Team Meat’s game will be much like Crane’s classic, but with a whole mess of cats as well as the team’s signature sense of humor.
It won’t hurt for variety. Edmund McMiller said in the post that the game currently has 25,418,658,283,290,000,000,000,000 individual cats in it. The game will be the envy of real cat ladies everywhere.