The End Is Nigh (video game)

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The End Is Nigh
The End Is Nigh cover art.jpg
The End Is Nigh artwork
Developer(s)Edmund McMillen
Tyler Glaiel
Publisher(s)Edmund McMillen
Tyler Glaiel
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch
ReleaseMicrosoft Windows
  • WW: July 12, 2017
  • WW: August 15, 2017
Linux, Nintendo Switch
  • WW: December 12, 2017
PlayStation 4
  • WW: April 30, 2019
Genre(s)Platform, adventure

The End Is Nigh is a platforming adventure video game developed by Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel. The game was released on July 12, 2017 on Microsoft Windows via Steam. Ports of the game were released on August 15, 2017 on macOS, December 12, 2017 for Linux and Nintendo Switch, and on April 30, 2019 for PlayStation 4. The game has been described as a spiritual successor to McMillen's Super Meat Boy.

Gameplay and synopsis[edit]

Gameplay screenshot of The End Is Nigh.

The End Is Nigh is a platforming adventure game where the player controls Ash, a small black blob.[1][2] The game's intro shows Ash live streaming a retro-styled version of the game with the same name, allowing the player to play through it. Upon the player's death, the game-within-a-game crashes, and Ash tries to salvage the cartridge by taking it out of the console and blowing on it, with no success. The next day, Ash writes a letter explaining his current situation and the state of the world, stating that there was an apocalypse, with himself being the only survivor. With his favorite game cartridge broken, Ash sets out into the world to make a friend, and re-populate the world.

The game is divided into 600+ single-screen interconnected levels, forming 12+ chapters. The objective of the game is to clear the platforming challenges of each screen and proceed to the next, exploring the world and collecting items along the way. Collectable items include tumors, which unlock bonus levels and are used as lives in later chapters, and video game cartridges, which unlock retro levels.


In the "Acceptance" ending, Ash finds his friend, which is stuck to a large glowing orb. The orb starts to explode and Ash has to escape. When the explosion goes off, Ash accepts his fate and dies happily. In the "Nevermore" ending, Ash becomes a part of the world, joining the mother to live forever. It is also possible to beat The End is Nigh game cartridge in the intro.

Development and release[edit]

The End Is Nigh began development as the product of a game jam in December 2016. After a year of developing a platforming shooter game titled Øuroboros, developers Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaiel decided to refocus the concept, as not much progress had been made on the game. While developing Øuroboros, McMillen and Glaiel would take small breaks to prototype other ideas, and in December 2016 both committed to do a full game jam to explore these concepts. Within the first week, they had developed a platformer with open-world and adventure game elements. McMillen described it as feeling "a bit like VVVVVV meets 1001 Spikes with a Spelunky control setup and it felt perfect."[1] McMillen and Glaiel continued to work on the game in secret for the next few months, and it was officially revealed and announced on June 7, 2017, only about a month before its planned release date.[3][4] McMillen announced the game shortly before its release due to wanting to avoid the game becoming vaporware, as had been the case for some of his previously announced titles like Mew-Genics and Super Meat Boy: Forever (until it was taken over by another team and released in 2020[5]). On the completed game, McMillen stated that The End Is Nigh is the largest game, level-wise, that he's worked on, and embodies aspects of every game that he's created.[1] The game features voice acting by Rich Evans of RedLetterMedia and the game's music was composed by Ridiculon.[1][6]

McMillen later stated that he felt The End Is Nigh was a cathartic experience for him. Prior to its development, he had been working on The Binding of Issac: Rebirth and its expansions for several years, and had found the development to be an onus on his time, as well as having poor experiences with other developers. He had been considering leaving the game development market, which influenced some of the direction that The End Is Nigh took. He used the theme of perseverance as a core element of the game, helping him to resolve his own personal concerns, and as a result, McMillen felt The End is Nigh was his best work.[7]


The game received generally favorable reviews, according to review aggregator Metacritic.[8] Patrick Klepek of Vice praised the game's challenging nature and its emphasis on exploration,[13] while Zero Punctuation's Ben Croshaw noted that "I don't get a sense that there'll be any reward for putting myself through the trials", though later praised the game's design.[14]


  1. ^ a b c d McMillen, Edmund (June 7, 2017). "The End is Nigh!". Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  2. ^ Matulef, Jeffrey (2017-06-15). "Super Meat Boy's spiritual successor The End is Nigh reveals more masochistic gameplay". Eurogamer. Retrieved 2017-07-12.
  3. ^ Chalk, Andy (June 7, 2017). "Binding of Isaac creator Edmund McMillen reveals The End is Nigh". PC Gamer. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  4. ^ O'Connor, Alice (June 8, 2017). "Super Meat Boy co-creator announces The End Is Nigh". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Archived from the original on July 13, 2017. Retrieved July 12, 2017.
  5. ^ "Super Meat Boy Forever". Retrieved 2020-05-21.
  6. ^ Devore, Jordan (June 7, 2017). "Edmund McMillen's new game is a welcome sight for Super Meat Boy fans". Destructoid. Enthusiast Gaming. Retrieved July 14, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ McGlynn, Anthony (June 5, 2018). "How mods made The Binding of Isaac a phenomenon, and why Edmund McMillen's laying it to rest". PC Gamer. Retrieved June 5, 2018. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ a b "The End Is Nigh For PC Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved December 8, 2017. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^ "The End Is Nigh For Switch Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved August 31, 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Rowen, Nic (July 30, 2017). "Review: The End is Nigh". Destructoid. Archived from the original on December 28, 2017. Retrieved December 28, 2017.
  11. ^ "The End is Nigh review". Edge. No. 310. Future. August 17, 2017. p. 118.
  12. ^ Vazquez, Suriel (July 21, 2017). "The End Is Nigh: A Whole New World Of Hurt". Game Informer. Archived from the original on July 23, 2017. Retrieved July 23, 2017.
  13. ^ Klepek, Patrick (July 13, 2017). "The Co-Creator of 'Super Meat Boy' Has A New Platformer, And It's Very Good". Vice. Archived from the original on July 14, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  14. ^ "Zero Punctuation : The End is Nigh, and Yonder: Cloud Catcher Chronicles". The Escapist.

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