Tiger Handheld version of Super Meat Boy is supposed to suck

Dumbed down version of Super Meat Boy released on Apple's App Store to make a point

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A horrible Tiger Handheld version of Super Meat Boy has just released on Apple’s App Store - and it’s not “bad” in that nostalgic retro sort of way. It’s just plain bad. And that’s the point. It all began after independent game developer Tommy Refenes railed against the proliferation of unplayable mobile versions of popular games for sale on Apple’s App Store at this year’s Game Developers Conference.

“I absolutely fucking hate the iPhone App Store,” declared Refenes at the beginning of his speech, adding that he thinks the digital distribution service is “awful” and “horrible.” He went on to compare the iPhone App Store to the Tiger Handheld game of this generation, citing crappy mobile versions of popular titles, like Mega Man II and Street Fighter IV.

Above: Super Meat Boy is scheduled to release for WiiWare, XBLA, and Windows this summer. But you can play a purposefully bad Tiger Handheld version today

We see where Refenes is coming from. iPhone and iPod games based on popular titles, like Mega Man II and Street Fighter IV look “good” for a mobile game and are tempting purchases for fans. But when it comes right down to it, the iPhone and iPod touch-centric controls never feel “right.” During his speech, Refenes challenged the audience, asking if anyone in the room has actually finished Mega Man II on the iPhone. No one answered. Having purchased the game on a whim, I can’t say that I’ve beat the game either – and the reason is simple: the controls are horrible.

Above: Tommy Refenes, one of the designers for Super Meat Boy, talks about why he “fucking hates” the App Store

And so here we are. Refenes’ anti-App Store mission has come full circle with a Tiger Handheld version of Super Meat Boy for the iPhone, complete with bad controls, ugly LED graphics, minimal animation, and a total lack of fun. The asking price for the irony is just $.99, the exact same price of other inferior App Store versions of games you love, like Mega Man II.

Above: We bought Mega Man II for the iPhone because it only cost $.99 and it was called “Mega Man II.” Unfortunately, the actual game was almost unplayable

Above: If you’ve never played the original Meat Boy Flash game, check it out. It’s great fun (unlike the iPhone version)

What do you think? Will you be buying a copy of Super Meat Boy from the App Store? Have you purchased an iPhone/iPod Touch version of a game you loved only to leave it unplayed on your dash? Do you think Refenes is right in comparing the App Store to today’s version of the Tiger Handheld game? Or perhaps, now that the iPad has landed, do you think Apple’s latest product deserves the interest of gamers more than ever?

Apr 5, 2010