Surprise! It turns out Team Meat's Mew-Genics isn't quite as wholesome as it first appears.
"Mew-Genics revolves around Cats, obviously," reads Edmund McMillen's description of his upcoming "cat lady' sim.
"The current number of cats in Mew-Genics is.... 25418658283290000000000000 (and growing)," he adds a little later.
Sounds adorable, right? Well, it is and it isn't.
McMillen reckons Mew-Genics isn't really like anything gamers have seen before, but adds that most would describe it as a cross between The Sims and Pokemon, with a dash of Animal Crossing and Tamagotchi thrown in for good measure. From the gameplay description, there seems to be a touch of Black and White in there as well.
In Mew-Genics, you care for an ever-increasing number of cats. Much like actual cats, the game's virtual felines have a prospensitvy for breeding, and end up passing both negative and positive traits to their offspring. The game also seems to track their psychological ticks, as events can cause the cats to associate certain stimuli with certain events. It's a fascinating idea, as a description of one of McMillen's gameplay sessions proves:
"Last week I was playing a game with Puddle, a fat female cat I had been working on earlier that day, I thawed her out of her Cryo-cube and placed her in my current single story house along with her newly generated companion Champ. I had been focusing my time on Puddle due to the fact that she seemed to have a very unique tail that I believe had helped her place 2nd in a cat pageant in a previous and I needed to breed her so I could continue her bloodline before she got too old. Sadly Champ wasn't up to snuff and Puddle made this obvious by repeatedly kicking him in the face, I separated them quickly by putting champ in the attic but when I tried to feed him.. something odd happened. See, Champ was a dullard and when Puddle kicked him he just happened to also be eating and now associated the trauma with food instead of Puddle herself, he was scared of all food.. and sadly died in the attic shortly after."
The story continues towards a grim conclusion. McMillen adopts a stray narcoleptic cat called Goon, who passes on his disorder to the kittens he produces with Puddle. Not only that, but Goon gave Puddle feline AIDS, forcing McMillen to put her back into cryostasis until a cure could be found. The story ends on a rather bleak note, with Goon attacking one of his own kittens and eventually running away while McMillen ends up being arrested by local animal control before he can find a cure for Puddle.
I'll be honest, the feline AIDS bit made me a touch uncomfortable (it's a very real disease, as anyone who's done any time in an animal shelter will tell you), but I'm glad to see Team Meat is still pushing its peculiar brand of dark humor. Mew-Genics is slated for release on Steam, iOS and Android, but there's no news of a release date just yet.
Source: Team Meat