Rejoice flesh brothers, for our robot overlords have finally arrived. Okay, well it’s possible that the robots haven’t exactly taken over just yet, I might be getting a bit ahead of myself. If the robot gods were here though, Freaking Meatbags is probably exactly what it would be like.
Freaking Meatbags was just released on May 20th, 2014 and is currently available as an Early Access title on, you guessed it, Steam Early Access. The story in Freaking Meatbags is done in a very lighthearted and witty fashion. I found the experience to be a particularly enjoyable retreat from the normally serious tone of most TD games found on PC. Even though we’re talking about the robotic enslavement of the human race, Freaking Meatbags manages to keep things less than serious the entire time. From the e-mails you’ll receive from other robots, to the packs of wild robots that roam the countryside and attack you at night, Freaking Meatbags is just a funny game through and through.
Starting a missions involves deciding what planet you want to colonize, the inhabitants of which are not always human in nature. In the traditional TD-style missions you’ll have the opportunity to build a DNA splicer building, giving you the ability to combine the DNA of multiple species into a new hybrid creature with shared abilities. As an example, I found mixing my humans and the laser eye aliens produced a very useful creature that excelled at mining and could provide a bit of extra defenses in a pinch.
One of the cool aspects of Freaking Meatbags is the RTS influence in the form of base building and mining. Your alien slaves can be assigned to mine various resources, assigned to explore a shipwreck, or offer emergency base defenses when the wild robots attack. Instead of simply scrolling around the map and clicking things, you actually play as the robot that commands an increasingly diverse collection of creatures. During some missions you’ll simply be moving around to push back the fog of war, at other times you may be the main point of offense (or defense) against the wild robots as you pick up some machine gun turrets and lay waste to the attackers.
I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t mention the superb soundtrack that accompanies the game. Freaking Meatbags‘ chiptune-style music fits the game perfectly and really stood out as a high point for me. The graphics are decidedly retro, but there’s still so much personality in the game. It kinds of reminds me of the classically addicting Kairosoft games that are so popular on mobile platforms.
Despite the fact that we’re talking about an Early Access game, Freaking Meatbags feels very complete even at this early stage. With the initial release only 3 days removed, I went in expecting rampant bugs. I was pleased to find a working and playable game that felt near complete. That being said, I did encounter difficultly recording in-game footage in while playing in windowed mode. Due to the nature of the graphics, the game uses a particularly blocky font that at 1920 x 1080 can make things a bit hard to read. I much preferred playing in a 1400 x 900 window but just couldn’t record using Nvidia Shadowplay. You’re mileage may vary in this regard though, there’s a lot of variables at play.
At the end of the day, I’m super pleased with what I saw thus far with Freaking Meatbags. I’m excited to see what the developers come up with as this game moves through the development cycle. At a low price tag of $10 you’ll probably get your moneys worth even at this early stage.