Eye Attack has taken many years and five iterations to get to the state it’s in now. But that determination and hard work from Veyeral Games has been so, so worth it. Eye Attack VI, or just Eye Attack, is by far the best effort yet, and it’s most likely because they’ve pretty much copied the Super Meat Boy formula. It’s not a clone, though, because there are some important distinctions between the two games. That said, the similarities are very obvious.
“It’s up to Eyeden, the eyeball, to collect the orbs in time to stop Veyerus’ invasion of his home planet!”
If you’d rather find out and determine how close the game is to Team Meat’s creation, then by all means go and check the demo out – it’s fantastic. There are 47 levels (many of which are hidden), and they’re split between the normal and OCD versions (like the Dark World in SMB, so just harder reworkings of each level), a boss fight and two of the power pick-ups which act as the biggest game changer from its biggest influence. The story is markedly different as well, though, as there’s no love interest, and instead the game is a race to collect orbs before a huge eye called Veyerus does and destroys the world. You know, the other usual storyline that games often fall back on to.
If you’ve played Super Meat Boy, you’ll pick up Eye Attack very quickly. The controls are pretty much exactly the same, and the platforming physics are also pretty identical. Eyeden feels a little sticker than Meat Boy, apart from when you’re jumping in between walls. Wall jumping just needs an extra few hundredths of a second more sticking time so that you can slap against it and jump off at will without falling when you shouldn’t, like I did on occasion. The level design and how they’re put together in a sequence is also very similar. There’s a pretty good sense of momentum that can be gained around the structures once you’ve learned them and collected the coin that lies out of the way on each level. Jumping over spikes and circular saws almost conjures up deja vu at times, and that’s a really good thing for Eye Attack.
“Our occular hero can also use transformative, elemental powers to help him get to the inconveniently placed orbs before the evil Veyerus does.”
As you can see above, in Eye Attack you collect elemental powers that grant you a certain ability. Fire allows you to use the right stick to zip through the air in a straight line so you can clear wider gaps. The other power available in the demo is one of water, and that lets Eyeden thrust water underneath him to perform a double jump. This variation and mastering the different capabilities of each power gives Eye Attack that much-needed feeling of adding something on top of what Super Meat Boy – moving away from just being a re-skinning of it.
Basically, pretty much all of the best bits of the renown 2D platformer are kept in, such as the instant respawning, hidden extras, fast movement, level replays. The developer has also created a tile-based level editor for their personal use at the moment. But they’ll be leaving it in the game when it is released so that anyone else who wants to have a go at adding content to the game can do so. The only thing that’s really lacking is the slight mar in the controls – and it is very slight – as well as the “B-list MIDI synth metal,” as Dom called it. Which doesn’t really have anything on Danny Baranowsky’s soundtrack. But go and play it if you like challenging and smooth platformers; I’ve got nothing but high praise, really.