Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past decade, chances are you’ll be quite familiar with Super Meat Boy, even if you haven’t necessarily played it. Renowned for its slick controls and brutally difficult gameplay, it was one of the most prominent games to be released on the Xbox Live Arcade back in 2010, and remains an important title to this very day. OkunoKA Madness wears its inspiration on its sleeve, with gameplay so immediately familiar to fans of Super Meat Boy, there’s an undeniable sense of déjà vu.
Thankfully, as an experience in itself, OkunoKA Madness is an easy recommendation, and a great alternative if you’ve already rinsed Super Meat Boy. Its story is set across a variety of increasingly complex levels, with a simple objective of making it to the end of the level intact and within the shortest possible time. Movement is as slick and responsive as you could possibly hope for, and you’ll be wall jumping and manoeuvring across tricky gaps in no time.
In addition to the basic rhythm of running and jumping, you also have the ability to alter the environment itself. Scattered throughout are elemental platforms made of ice, fire, and electricity; these are perfectly fine to jump on, but you can also turn them translucent with a simple tap of L or R, meaning you can pass straight through them. Doing so is key to progressing past certain areas, as you can use them as platforms and handy shields against any incoming projectiles. The way some of the later levels centre their design around the inclusion of these platforms is pretty ingenious, and it often takes a lot of trial and error to figure out the best route forward.
There are plenty of collectables to find, too. Unlockable characters are centred around your ability to find hidden items in the levels (in a similar fashion to Rayman Legends), and these characters not only look unique in their design but come with additional features, such as the ability to stick to any given wall. How often you’ll switch between characters is very much dependent on your style of play; we found the main character Ka to be quite suitable for most scenarios.
Once you’re done with the story mode, you can also tackle ‘Madness’, which is a selection of ludicrously difficult levels that only the most patient of players will overcome, and ‘Time Attack’, which removes the ability to choose individual levels and instead records how quickly you can move through each of the levels in turn. There’s plenty to be getting on with, and with gorgeous, colourful visuals and a great soundtrack, OkunoKa Madness is an excellent platformer that fans of Super Meat Boy will relish. As for everybody else; well, just get ready for a bit of a challenge…