I will come right out and admit my slight bias. The game is very clearly inspired by Super Meat Boy (SMB) on the Xbox LIVE Arcade and PC, which is one of my favorite platformers ever. The devs are not shy about this fact either. They thank Team Meat in the opening logo splashes and Meat Boy and Dr. Fetus make a brief cameo appearance. I love fast paced, challenging platformers, and thus was drawn to this title. Now, that doesn’t mean I’ll lie about its quality. It’s very, very rough around the edges, with graphical errors, random bugs, amateur art, and a lack of bells and whistles. I still had a blast playing it though.
You get to play as one of two cheese people and are chasing down an apparently evil mouse in his Dr. Robotnik floating pod device. What ensues is a brutal series of obstacles, from spikes and spinning saw blades to lasers, cannons, bouncy pads, teleporters, and much more. Often times the game is quite difficult in a good way, but just as often it’s difficult for the wrong reasons due to bugs and the like. For example, the hit boxes on most hazards are a bit larger than the art assets would indicate, leading to a lot of deaths that seem unfair or out of nowhere. But hey, at least the graphical issues sometimes reveal the hit-boxes on everything in a rather garish fashion.
The controls are simple, and were mostly tight and responsive. I would have liked to see the ability to change the size of buttons and to move their positioning since I was playing on a tablet, and the right movement button was quite the stretch. You make use of double jumps and wall jumps to get around, and it’s all quite simple. I like little touches, like how the male cheese person holds on to the walls with his ridiculously large teeth. These developers have some nifty ideas, but need to work on their polishing abilities.
The visuals aren’t anything special, but at least they’re colorful. The soundtrack was supplied by an artist called Bubblegum Octopus, and I really dug the music, also clearly inspired by Super Meat Boy. You can name your own price for the soundtrack online, so there’s that. The game is also quite short, with only 42 levels, but more is promised in future updates. CheeseMan is a fun and creative platformer, and while it’s full of random issues, it’s also totally free, so there’s no harm in checking it out.