Never Give Up wears its inspiration on its sleeve. Displaying quirky visuals and rock-solid gameplay, Armor Games’ new platformer directly calls back to the surprise hit Super Meat Boy. However, Never Give Up takes the basic premise of Super Meat Boy and tweaks it just enough to avoid feeling like a carbon copy.

You’re tasked with tackling a series of levels – known as ‘rooms’ – before taking on the boss at the end of a particular area. What Never Give Up does, however, is present you with the same room five or six times in a row, with each new appearance extending the length of the room and introducing new obstacles to gradually make it more and more infuriatingly difficult. But as the room increases in difficulty, so too does your skill and confidence.

You’ll come across a multitude of deadly traps in the game, including circular saws, lasers, bombs, charging rhinos, and of course, bottomless pits. The game pushes your patience to its absolute limit, constantly taunting you with a ‘Give Up’ button on each level that lets you instantly proceed to the next room. In doing so, however, you’ll be left with a lasting reminder that you basically failed and threw in the towel.

It’s not quite fluid enough to stand toe-to-toe with Super Meat Boy, but Never Give Up is nevertheless a solid platformer that offers up highly inventive, ludicrously challenging levels along with a smattering of dry humour that’s well suited to the style of the game. Add to that a collection of unlockable costumes that only become available after gathering a certain number of collectable, and you’ve also got a hefty amount of replay value.

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