Let’s Meat Adam // American Visual Novel Blind Run

Welcome to Queer Fudanshi. Let’s Talk. In this post we’re going to talk about Let’s Meat Adam.

Let’s Meat Adam is, as the official page states, “a Bara, BxB visual novel set (as eloquently stated by a reviewer) in a neon NIGHTMARE of an escape room turned death game. Muscles, Blood, Escape, Trust, Betray, MEAT.”

The story follows Adam, an Instagram star and aspiring actor who decides to go to an escape room with his best friend Vince. The two soon find out that they, and 7 other gay men, are trapped in a killer’s twisted game. Their only way to survive is to solve the puzzle rooms fast and hope that the killer doesn’t decide to kill them off first.

My Thoughts Before Playing

Thank you to SoulsofTea for contacting me and letting me play this game. The concept behind it sounds very interesting. I’ve been following Geek & Sundry’s escape room series, so escape rooms have been on my mind in the past month or two. I might even try one out by myself.

Now, when I read that this game was horror I was a little worried. If you don’t know, I’m a major wuss when it comes to horror. I just don’t like watching content that’s main purpose is to watch people die/get killed.

That said, this game seems to have a lot more going on with it than just the classic blood fest. The premise makes me think that there’s social commentary on what humans are willing to do to survive, there’s romantic storyline, and maybe even some mystery/puzzles too. If so, I can probably grow to like or love Let’s Meat Adam.

Let’s see.

This is Let’s Meat Adam*

*Warning: This game does contain sexual content. One sex scene is shown at the start of Let’s Meat Adam and two more can be seen depending on choices made in the game. As such, this post has been tagged as NSFW.

Where to Buy:

Soulsoftea.itch.io (Name Your Own Price [But At Least Give A Few Dollars])

The Talk (Non-Spoilers):

This game is intense.

Let’s Meat Adam is certainly a thriller that lives up to the genre. The writing, music and artwork all combines to make a great atmosphere for the game. While it never stepped into the horror genre of just being straight out terrifying, the game is very scary in the fact that you worry about the characters and you’re on the edge of your seat the entire time.

As a player, I was constantly second doubting my decisions and worried about whether I was making a choice that would get me or someone else killed. In addition, the gaming mechanics are fun and challenging, though perhaps too challenging at times. I literally spent a whole hour trying to solve one of the puzzles and ended up having to look up the answer.

As for the characters, they are all well developed, though some more than others, and they all have a little bit of shadiness to them which makes figuring out who the killer is that much harder. And without spoilers, the killer reveal certainly made it all worth it (if only for the conversation I had afterwards).

This game is definitely worth playing and I also highly recommend you send a few dollars the creator’s way for all the hard work put into the game.

The Talk (Spoilers Ahead):

Artwork

First, I have to say that the artwork is beautiful in this game. The creator, SoulsofTea, does these intensely detailed character sprites when talking to the main character. And the designs for all the men are interesting and unique to each character.

Also, half of the characters are JACKED. Like full on bodybuilder looking jacked. This is definitely a very beefcake/bara type of art design. That said, they don’t look goofy or unrealistic. They’re muscle men, but they still look human and believable (except Lars maybe).

Sadly though, all of this impressive artwork led to one really disappointing one at the end of my route. I played the game blindly (or at least meant to [more on that later]) and ended up getting the good route.

At the end of the route is a badly drawn picture of the main character Adam running out of the burning building. Adam just looks bad in that shot. No way to mince words on that one.

But again, the only reason I’m so put off by that picture is because everything else is so wonderfully executed. As such, I feel like this was more of a time/budget constraint that the creator had to just compromise with.

The Writing/Atmosphere

Let’s Meat Adam is very intense and even scary at some points.

Most of the reason why I felt that way was because Let’s Meat Adam really made me feel like I was in the situation. In fact, I hated what the game was revealing about me.

I like to think that if the zombie apocalypse happened I’d be the calm and cool survivor who does what he needs to in order to keep living, but this game has shown me that I’m emotionally all over the place when put in dangerous situations.

So one second, I had a whole squad of characters I was calling my f**** with squad (more on them later), and then as the game progressed I was having second thoughts about EVERYBODY. It was just me going back and forth on where I stood with everybody and I ended up getting blindsided because of that.

Ultimately, what I hate (and love) about Let’s Meat Adam is that the characters are all over the place. I think one way about them and then they do something to make me not trust them as much.

I think, “Oh, Earl seems alright. I’ll stick with you” and then he says dumb stuff about leaving everybody. Then I’m like, “Pierce seems stable. I’ll go with him,” and then he’s useless. Then I’m like, “But Vince is best friend bae. Have to stick with him.” And then Vince makes Adam say stuff he didn’t have the confidence to say himself and because of that everyone starts panicking.

The idea that everyone is so chaotic is believable and interesting but also frustrating because I don’t know who to trust and stick with. And that’s 100% the point. Good job to SoulsofTea for doing that.

Characterization

As for the characters themselves, each one has a good amount of definition and personality. Some are more broad strokes than others, but that’s to lead more into the idea of being around strangers that you don’t know and can’t understand. That then adds to the whole untrusting angle.

Also, I was surprised at how many of these characters were absolute jerks. Honestly, I don’t think I would be friends with any one of these characters. They were all mean or terrible people in one way or another and that was refreshing to see, annoying, and a nice addition to the whole untrusting thing.

In addition, even the main character was a jerk. At the start of the game it was obvious that the character was written to be a jerk. He’d say things like, “He’s lucky to have me,” about his best friend. And he’d think lines like, “He’s pretty cute for an Asian…”

I both loved and hated this. I loved it because the writing for it was so realistic to how so many gay white jocks are, but I hated it because I hate guys like that.

Though, I do like that Adam has a personality. Characters in visual novels can sometimes be so bland (so that readers can insert themselves into the characters).

With a character like Adam, I couldn’t do that because he had a definite personality (that’s definitely not like mine). But, at the same time that made this read more like an actual story.

Gaming Mechanics

As for the mechanics for the gaming, the puzzles were both a lot of fun and incredibly tiring. That’s mostly because the game did not help you at all. You had to figure the puzzles out yourself.

  • You can’t solve the puzzle until you’ve found all the clues (including the ones hidden away by mini-puzzles).
  • None of your partners will help you.
    • I first thought that it was just Pierce who was incompetent, but then I took Lucky in and he didn’t help me at all. So, in the context of the story it was just Adam doing everything and it was the same thing gameplay wise.
  • There are no hints.
    • These are some legitimately hard puzzles (or so easy that they’re hard) and I couldn’t continue with the game until I figured it out because there was no guidance or walkthrough for these puzzles.
  • You have to know random facts
    • I’ll be honest, I eventually cheated. Eventually, I had to look up what a Hibiscus looked like. Apparently, Adam is very knowledgeable about several random facts.

In general, the puzzles were challenging which is fun but they are also brutally so with no real support. The general mindset is “keep doing it and failing till you get it” and that’s not always fun for everyone. It certainly wasn’t for me during that hour doing the triangle puzzle (until I cheated and found the answer).

The Killer (Serious Spoilers Below)

Now we’re getting to the good stuff. The killer… or should I say, killers. Yes, there were in fact multiple killers at the end of Let’s Meat Adam.

But first, I have to remind you of my f**** with squad.

At the start of the game, I decided that Lucky, Vince, and Earl were going to be my squad.

My exact notes: “I’m telling you right now, Lucky, Vince, and Earl. This is my squad. I f**** with these people. If I have to make decisions, I’m making them for these guys. That’s it.”

Then, I started to suspect Lars because he said the line, “You’ll probably all escape without me.” And then when he died I was like, “That was so random and pointless. Why kill him?” I mistook the killers’s senseless bloodlust as being a strategic ruse to disguise the fact that Lars was one of the killers. I ended up being wrong with that guess.

It was around this point that I got spoiled by the forums (while I was looking for puzzle answers) and found out that there were in fact three killers. That’s when I started to suspect Kang and Lucky.

I suspected Kang because he was so carefree about the whole situation and he mentioned that he was more jacked (like the Goatman?) under his suit. As for Lucky, it was him who orchestrated the panic around Steve that eventually led to his death.

From my notes: “Bart and Pierce are fighting like, ‘I think you’re untrustworthy!’ ‘No, YOU’RE untrustworthy!’ And I’m sitting here looking at Lucky like, ‘What up with you though?”

By the end of the game, I guessed that the three killers were Lars, Kang, and Lucky, but turns out it was my f**** with squad all along!

The Message

And not only was I tricked by the f**** with squad based on their trustworthiness but also based on their personalities, because boy are these three guys deranged.

First off, they look creepy as all else with their serial killer faces (good jobs on artwork again).

Next, can we talk about how the message behind their whole plan is both important and incredibly stupid.

First for real life context. Racism, the obsession with muscular men, and the stigma towards effeminate men are three very real problems in the gay community.

As a writer for Instinct Magazine and GayPopBuzz, I am constantly reminded of that fact because the only stories that go viral are ones that cater to these three thoughts. Stories about muscular white men (who are probably shirtless) will always get more clicks than stories about people of color or non-muscular men.

That said, the idea that these three men were so upset with this problem that they decided to kill because of it offends me to my core, disgusts me to my core, and makes me question all of their life decisions.

But again, my notes say it all:

“Yes, it’s original and creative and worthy. These are three problems we definitely have in the gay community and bravo/a to the creator for tying it into the story. That’s good storytelling.”

“But at the same time, hearing that these three guys decided to kill these 6 other guys because of these society wide problems makes me want to gag and roll my eyes. Really? That’s why you did it?”

I appreciate the message behind the game and the story overall, but the mentality behind these three men is so skewed that it still bothers me to this day.

In Conclusion

Let’s Meat Adam is worth playing. In fact, its worth giving a few dollars to the creator, SoulsofTea, for making it.

The puzzles were challenging (though I wish they had built in hints delievered by the puzzle partners or at the least a walkthrough). The story was compelling and suspenseful and the characters were infuriating in just the right way.

And though I am bothered by the mentality of the killers, I understand the source of that mentality and agree with the overall message Let’s Meat Adam tries to express.

I’m happy having played this game and might return to it to see what the “Perfect Route” looks like. Will you be joining me?