Name: So Many Me
Price: $14.99USD through Steam
Developer: Extend Studio
A Steam Key was provided for review purposes.
So Many Me is a puzzle platformer that attempts to take the concept of ‘clones’ and apply that concept to a rather interesting platformer. It was inspired by games such as Lemmings (which I’ve never played) and the game’s charming, simple, and just a little bit too difficult for my taste.
The story in this game is the usual affair, and it is constantly self-referencing the overused tropes of the naïve hero, the old, wisened mentor, the sidekicks that crack jokes at every turn, every time a new piece of dialogue came up it put a smile on my face. The basic story is that the protagonist, Filo, suddenly has the ability to have clones, known as ‘me’ follow him around. These ‘me’ can transform into stone, the first of the game’s mechanics. All the ‘me’ have their own personality and name, so they’re all charming in their own way.
Progress through the game is done with these ‘me’s. They can transform into stone at any time, which enables the other ‘me’s to jump on top them, which is very useful for traversing large gaps, reaching higher areas, or preventing a fall into a chasm.
The stone mechanic in action
After the ‘me’ has been transformed, it can be recalled back into the long line of clones following Filo. However, there can only be as much stone as there are ‘me’s, minus one, due to there needing to be one character to control at all times. Therefore, sometimes ‘me’s will have to be recalled and then quickly transformed again to traverse particularly long or tall areas.
What shakes this mechanic up is the addition of fruit-like objects that enable the ‘me’ to transform into objects other than stone. For example, a red fruit will transform a ‘me’ into a trampoline of sorts, allowing Filo and the team to bounce off to higher ledges, especially if they’re falling from a large height, and a blue fruit allows a ‘me’ to transform into a boxing glove, which will then slowly float up to higher ledges.
The puzzles in this game come from using the transform mechanic to traverse areas. The stone one is rather simple, but the trampoline and boxing glove require a bit more thought. This is heightened through flowers which spread pollen-like gas everywhere, which prevents the clones from transforming. Some areas will enable the flowers to either die or fed, which stops the gas altogether, while others require careful planning of how to transform around the space to navigate the area. I recall one example where I had to fall a great distance, then use the red trampoline to bounce up to an area, as the trampoline bounces Filo up to a similar height.
That pesky flower!
There are other additions that either aid or hinder Filo, or sometimes even do both! For example, there’s a giant worm-thing that goes around a present path along the level, and can take Filo and his clones to new locations, but will also destroy any transformations. There’s also a teleporter, which can transport Filo and his clones to a corresponding teleporter in the level – this is necessary to solve some puzzles.
Beam me up, Scotty!
The game features five worlds, with another with what appears to be a set of bonus levels, each with about 7 stages each. Each world takes about an hour to complete, but to be honest, I haven’t even played through all of them, which brings me to my first criticism.
This game is very difficult. Often I would be stuck on a level and not be able to solve it until a day or two later, and now I’m really stuck. I just can’t figure out how to get past this one stage. I’m not the best at puzzlers on a good day, so give me a hard one and I’ll eventually get stuck and give up. If you like puzzles, and difficult logic ones at that, this game would be great for you. I’m just not smart enough to figure it out.
The other problem with this game is that the default keyboard and mouse controls feel a little clunky. The game is played with the arrow keys, with space being used to jump and ‘D’ being used to transform. It felt a little weird, and a tad bit fiddly, as one wrong hit of a button can spell disaster, especially in one of the game’s boss fights. I think I would have preferred it if they reverse the controls, with WASD for movement and the arrow keys for transforming and recalling. I did originally play it with a controller, and that was much better. It felt a lot more fluid, and I reckon that’s the best way to play this game. I had to play it with a keyboard and mouse after ants infested my controller, though.
The game features a boss level at the end of each world (that was the case with what I’ve played) and these require a mixture of platforming finesse and problem-solving skills to successfully complete. Needless to say, these battles are rather difficult.
So, bearing in mind that I didn’t finish the game (I feel that I played enough to give an opinion on it), I really like this game’s art style. I like its presentation. I like its filled-with-tropes story. This game is very charming. What lets it down is how difficult it is and the somewhat clunky keyboard and mouse controls. However, if you have a controller, and like puzzlers, this is definitely the game for you. If you don’t, it’s still a very good game that’s worth checking out, especially if you do ever get that puzzle itch.
- Cute graphics
- Funny story
- Good use of game concept (clones and transformation)
- Somewhat fiddly and clunky keyboard/mouse controls (controller’s fine though)
- A difficult game