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Square Meal


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Rating: 4.7/5 (40 votes)
| Comments (24) | Views (27)

zxoSquare MealCute pixelly monsters? Plucky soundtrack? Arcade-style gameplay? It must be the latest release from Nitrome! Hooray!

In Square Meal, you play a cute boxy monster trying to escape from a sinister dungeon. Well, perhaps sinister is a bit of an overstatement—someone has left delicious food lying about all over the place, after all. Still, there are a number of different monsters patrolling each of the 50 levels, as well as floor spikes, exploding blocks, slippery patches, and other hazards. Using the arrow keys, move around each level and use the spacebar to swallow all of the enemies. Before you can eat a monster though, you must first stun it by hitting it with a block. Use the spacebar to swallow a block, then reposition yourself and hit space again to shoot the block at an enemy.

Square MealThere are a number of different types of blocks available to swallow and shoot. In addition to the normal gray blocks that behave quite predictably, there are also brown blocks that disintegrate when they hit something, blue slow blocks that lose momentum more quickly, green rubber blocks that will bounce off of things (be careful of the rebound!), and black bomb blocks that give you a short countdown and then explode. The normal gray blocks are usually the best to use—they can't kill you, they don't disappear once used, and they travel quickly. Really, all you need is one of these per level, but you are usually given much more than that.

The five types of blocks and four types of enemies combined with the various other hazards provide enough material so that the fifty levels are for the most part unique. However, there are only a handful that are truly challenging—you'll be able to pass most of them on your first try. I was expecting the levels to become more puzzle-like as they progressed, but only a few took advantage of elements such as the retractable spikes and limited ammunition. There's not even a time limit. Mostly, you'll just find yourself avoiding the monsters until you can get in a position to stun and swallow them. Also, I was expecting one or two more types of monsters to appear that were either faster or smarter than the four that exist, but that never happened.

As a result of these game design choices, much of the challenge of Square Meal comes from trying to maximize your score. You have only one life, although thankfully you do not have to start at Level 1 when you die. Nevertheless, your score resets to zero every time you die, so scoring well will require a certain degree of perfection. If you're not careful, you can also miss points on levels by clearing all the monsters before eating all of the bonus food items, or if an exploding block takes food or monsters with it.

With Square Meal, the folks at Nitrome have once again played to their strengths: classic arcade-style gameplay, cute pixelated graphics and an infectious soundtrack that somehow never quite gets old (although if it does, there's a button to turn it off). There's also a collaborative 2-player mode that can be fun to play with a buddy, although it doesn't really add anything to the gameplay.

Play Square Meal

24 Comments

TypeKey isn't letting me login at the moment :(

I like this game for the most part. The movement was a little choppy, but I guess totally free movement would only hinder you here. Cute characters and music.

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This was SO CUTE. I don't normally like Nitrome games very much despite their visual style, but I loved this--the music, the sound effects, the gameplay, everything.

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It was fun at first, but the slow pace really ruined it. Also, I glitch through the wall behind me if I eat a block.

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Wow, the music in this game is really great. Kudos to whomever composed these wonderful songs.

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I agree with Ben about the pace. It became very tedious before too long. The collision detection with the monsters seems to be a bit odd, too. I kept trying to "lead" the monsters, so to speak, but the block would pass right through them. You almost have to fire late to be sure of a hit.

Overall, just not that exciting a game. I've enjoyed some of Nitrome's other offerings much more.

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I am trying to get past level #47. Very few blocks to kill the weird monsters. Any ideas how to conquer this level? Any help is appreciated

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Alex100001 August 3, 2007 5:06 PM

I'm stuck on level 47 too. Anyone have any sugestions to how to complete this level? I have the same problem with the level as Jkep; not enough blocks and the blocks that are there blow up. My other problem is the time limit the exploding bricks have. They keep blowing up in my face! Please! HELP ME!

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Alex100001 August 4, 2007 6:15 AM

Oh well. Doesn't matter now. I did it. Woo!

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king guthixx August 9, 2007 9:18 AM

im stuck on lvl 47 too... i always blow myself up!

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whiterabbit August 11, 2007 8:24 AM

hey, i was stuck on level 47 and i struggled like all of you! i cracked the level and completed the final level as well. i was really frustrated, but after trying many times i got it. i think what helps is first killing one tortoise on the outside corridor and the 3rd one when it comes into the middle. you've got to be patient and wait on the opposite side, until the tortoise ventures into the middle on the opposite side. i would say patience is the most important factor!

good luck and just keep trying!

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king guthixx August 14, 2007 9:49 AM

i still cant do it!!

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bunny_2015 August 15, 2007 2:48 PM

well im stuck on level 40 wat do i do could someone email me if they know hwo to do it it has a rockin soundtrack and the monsters are adorable but i must say that they do go preety slow but i need help on level 40 it is preety hard the one thing i dont like are the green blocks THEY ARE HARD

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I just completed the game, and I really liked it. The level that took me the highest number of retries was 47. The paradox advice on that level is:

Take your time. 10 seconds are enough time to carry the bomb from the middle of the level to where the monsters are. Just time it right so they are walking around when you get there.

Level 40:

Just get out of the way! Move to a parallel lane from the one that you fired the squishy green block in and eat the unconscious monster from there. Often it is better to fire a gray standard block into a squishy one, because the standard block will stop once it hits a wall or another gray block.

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22nd with 29050- not bad.
How did he get 250005000 (quarter of a billion with 5000 added on top)?

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Square Meal Fan November 9, 2007 2:41 AM

Use 2 player mode it is great playing with a friend as long as they don't kill you.

If you don't

Want

them to

kill you

kill them first

FUN

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Hi could someone please explain to me the retractable spike hazard? I am stuck at Level 24 and can't seem to get past the first row of spikes?

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Hi i'm stuck at the beginning of Level 43. I can't seem to get past the retractable spikes.

Pls someone help me with this.

Thanks.

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Does anyone know how to do level 26?
that green slime block is killing me!

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nice game! :] and very cute too! reminds me of that little old game called 'bill the demon'.

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never say "Nitrome sucks." February 19, 2008 9:33 PM

also try (I hope they're clickable):

Headcase
Jack Frost
Aquanaut
Skywire

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lopsidation July 12, 2008 3:39 PM

2p mode has a fun glitch... if you're killed by a bomb's explosion (not while it's in your mouth) you become invisible. It's fun trying to beat the level when you can't see the guy.
Also, it's fun to have duels on lvl 35.

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argh! level 27 is a stumper. I can't seem to get to the other side of the wall. It looks like there is a door at the top of the maze on the left side. I ate a block out of the door way and tried to walk through, but couldn't.

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How do you eat something with the P2's mouth? (or the one that has wsad as the keys) Any Help?

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U have to use ctrl to eat with player 2! XD how do u pass lvl 27?

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