Meme Run

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Meme Run
Meme Run.png
Developer(s) Ninja Pig Studios
Publisher(s) Ninja Pig Studios
Engine Unity
Platform(s) Wii U
Release December 18, 2014
Genre(s) Endless runner
Mode(s) Single-player

Meme Run is an endless running video game created by American indie developer Ninja Pig Studios (Jordan Schuetz and his brother) for the Wii U console's eShop service. The game features extensive use of Internet memes; for example, the player character is a stick figure with a trollface for a head, and the levels are made up of Lenny faces. The game was designed to appeal to both hardcore and casual audiences, but has been widely criticized both before and after its release for its perceived low quality.

The game was removed from the Nintendo eShop on March 3, 2015 by artist Carlos Ramirez due to copyright infringing use of the trollface by the developers.[1]


In Meme Run, the player controls a stick figure with a trollface for a head. The character runs through procedurally generated 2D levels, jumping over and sliding under obstacles, until it is trapped between the continually sliding screen and an obstacle or falls into a bottomless pit. The player's total of "swag points" continually increases, and after a run, the player can post their high score to Miiverse. The levels are made up of the repeated "Lenny face" Internet meme, and other memes appear throughout the game, such as a "wombo combo!" scream when the player collects an item—a reference to a Super Smash Bros. Melee match recording on YouTube.[2]

Development and release[edit]

Meme Run was developed by Ninja Pig Studios, a small indie outfit consisting of 20-year-old (in 2014) developer Jordan Schuetz and his brother.[3] The game contains copious use of memes, described as an "Internet meme-infused infinite runner (Yes, really)" by Joystiq.[4] It was intended to appeal to both hardcore and casual gaming audiences by featuring both simple, intuitive controls and substantial difficulty once the character has run far enough.[3]

The game was widely criticized before its release; in response, Schuetz responded that it was a parody intended to "troll" users and called it "Game of the Year 2014".[5] However, Schuetz's friends in college enjoyed the game,[3] and its description contains the quote "Tyrone rated this game 8/8 which means it's not b8 so come play m8."[6] It was released on December 18, 2014 for the Wii U's eShop online service,[2] their second eShop release after the poorly received puzzle game IQ Test.[7] Schuetz has stated that Ninja Pig's future plans are "a secret".[3]

On January 5, 2015, Meme Run was put on Steam Greenlight in an attempt to release the game on Steam, which never came to fruition due to the shutdown of Steam Greenlight on June 6, 2017.[8][9]

On January 19, 2015, "Bigley Mode" was added. By pressing B on the main menu, the user would be able to play as a meme character known as Bigley.[citation needed]

On March 3, 2015, 'Meme Run' was pulled from the Wii U eShop with no public announcement. Its Miiverse community page was also taken down.[10] A Reddit post purporting to be the copyright holder of the "troll face" meme claims he sent a DMCA notice to Nintendo to take down Meme Run. According to Schuetz, Meme Run failed Nintendo's legal tests at least three times. [11]


Review scores
Nintendo Life1/10[2]
Nintendo News2/5 stars[12]
Nintendo Enthusiast2/10[13]

Prior to release, Mark Serrels of Kotaku called the game "terrifying" and opined that "just watching this video game being played is a genuine insight into what it is to be insane."[14] The game was panned upon release, NintendoLife staff writer Lee Meyer gave Meme Run an extremely negative review, calling it possibly "one of the worst releases on any gaming platform this year" and stating that it was certainly not worth its price of US$4.99. Meyer found the copious use of memes to be unpleasant and jarring and also criticized the finicky controls. He suggested that its intention may have been to lampoon the proliferation of banal Internet memes, but felt that it had not succeeded.[2]


  1. ^ "r/nintendo - Regarding Meme Run, and why I had it pulled from the eShop". reddit. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  2. ^ a b c d Meyer, Lee (December 21, 2014). "Meme Run: Review". NintendoLife. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d Taylor, Shawn (November 29, 2014). "Meme Run Creator Jordan Schuetz Addresses Haters". Nintendo News. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  4. ^ "New Nintendo eShop releases: Mega Man Zero, Meme Run | Joystiq". 2014-12-29. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  5. ^ McMahon, Conor (November 18, 2014). "Wii U eShop Title Meme Run Seals Approval To Release This December". NintendoLife. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  6. ^ Ronaghan, Neal (December 18, 2014). "This Week in the Nintendo eShop". IGN. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  7. ^ Calvert, Darren (September 24, 2014). "Meme Run is Coming to Troll Your Wii U Very Soon". NintendoLife. Retrieved December 29, 2014.
  8. ^ "Meme Run Hits Steam Greenlight - Hardcore Gamer". Hardcore Gamer. 2015-01-05. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  9. ^ "Steam Blog :: Closing Greenlight Today, Steam Direct Launches June 13". 2017-06-06. Retrieved 2018-09-28.
  10. ^ Carlson, Alex (March 3, 2015). "Meme Run Removed From Wii U eShop". Hardcore Gamer. Retrieved March 4, 2015.
  11. ^ Koopa, Ludwig. "Meme Run ran away off Wii U". KoopaTV. Retrieved 17 July 2015.
  12. ^ Taylor, Shawn (December 26, 2014). "Meme Run: Review". Nintendo News. Retrieved Jan 25, 2014.
  13. ^
  14. ^ Serrels, Mark (September 25, 2014). "This Video Game Made Entirely From Memes Will Drive You Insane". Kotaku. Retrieved December 29, 2014.

External links[edit]

Meaning of game: Rage