GAME NAME: So Many Me
DEVELOPER(S): Extend Studio
PUBLISHER(S): Origo Games
PLATFORM(S): PC, Mac, Linux
GENRE(S): Puzzle, Platformer, indie
RELEASE DATE(S): July 17th, 2014
So Many Me is a challenging and fun indie, puzzle platformer. While this game might look like something you would rather pass on to a younger audience, or to your girlfriend, it challenges even the most experienced platformer boffin. The game is filled with great tongue-in-cheek humour, adding relief to those tense moments of puzzle solving.
You play as Filo, a wise-ass little green blob about to embark on a mission I can only describe as epic. You are met by a “ghost” which plays the role of the narrator, who politely tries to inform you that you are the world’s only hope. Being the know-it-all that you are, and wanting him to skip to the good parts, you interrupt the ghost with your own autofill and thus missing some critical information.
It’s too late to go back, so you just roll with it. Discovering that collecting seeds makes clones of you, you’re stuck with a bunch of “you’s”. As it turns out, this is a good thing. You will need many of yourself to complete objectives and progress through the game. I call So Many Me a triple D game. Not because it’s not as good as a AAA game (because it definitely is), but because there are three things that you must do to succeed: Discover, duplicate and dominate.
So Many Me offers great gameplay in the ways of puzzle solving; this is the core of the game. While there are minions and bosses to defeat, these battles are not the most difficult tasks by far. Figuring out how to utilize your clones is the best part of the game. Knowing where to go next comes naturally, knowing how to get there, on the other hand, takes a bit of thinking. Levels are non-repetitive, which means that learning a trick in this level doesn’t mean you’ll cruise through the next. You’ll have to keep your whits about you and focus on the order of utilizing your clones. You are able to place clones at points to act as weights on buttons in order to open doors, as well as building blocks on which you can move around to get to where you want to be. Clones can be recalled and re-used. This is the tricky part; keeping track of which clones will be recalled. There are great little collectables such as hats, which you can use to aid you in this process. You are able to customize your clones to easier keep track of who is who.
Dying in So Many Me is something that happens easily. A hit means a demise, but luckily the game is very forgiving. You’ll generally respawn just about where you died, leaving you with few steps to redo. Collected items are also retained, meaning if you collect an item and die immediately after, you won’t have to acquire it again. Another great feature is that the game will save your progress as you go along, quitting the game won’t mean that you have to do a bunch of stuff all over again.
So Many Me’s controls are easy to understand both on a gamepad and a keyboard. While keyboard bindings cannot be changed, the game offers tips on how to navigate and includes a really cute tutorial you can revisit in the menu when you aren’t sure about the controls. The game has full controller support, which in my opinion is the best way to play it.
Visually, So Many Me is a stunning animated game. A simplistic art style ensures that you aren’t distracted by too many unnecessary clutter and are able to navigate through the game without too much guesswork. The game has a wonderfully colourful and diverse palette that isn’t punishing on the eye. The art leads you to believe that this game will be cute and gentle, while the gameplay proves the opposite. Do not be fooled, however; So Many Me is not going to take it easy on you.
In cahoots with the art, the sound is very chilled. The music is not so much something that aims to be memorable as it is something which aids you in thinking. It won’t distract you, and stays in the background where it is supposed to be. The developers have done an excellent job in balancing graphics, soundtrack and level design.
So Many Me is not to be underestimated as a puzzle platformer. It is a fantastic game that will pull you in not too far into the game and keep you busy for hours after. The game doesn’t boast unnecessary bits and bobs to create the delusion of a “fancy” game. Instead, it offers straight up challenging gameplay which is all worth your while and money. It looks good, plays well and rewards richly. Completing the game awards a great sense of accomplishment which will leave any puzzle platformer fan satisfied.