So Many Me
Filo is a little green blob that runs into a giant, floating, disembodies head named Asimov one day while out searching for food. After being told by Asimov that he is the chosen one, Filo leaps into action to save the world, but ends up with a bunch of clones in the process. Unable to shake the conga line of clones following in his footsteps, Filo instead uses their powers to aid him in his quest.
So Many Me doesn’t have the deepest or most original storyline, but the characters in the game know it which provides some lighthearted moments. Our time with a development build of the game during its Kickstarter campaign already demonstrated that it was shaping up to be something special, so it was quite sad to see that it didn’t make its funding goals. Thankfully, Extend Studio was able to complete the game despite this setback even it meant that not all the stretch goals could be implemented.
In case you are in the dark about the gameplay of So Many Me, it is a platform title with a heavy emphasis on puzzle solving. The levels are spread across four distinct worlds and your goal on each is simply to reach the exit. After beating the guardians of the four areas, it is on to the volcano level for the final showdown. Apart from the boss battles which I will discuss in a bit, the levels are fairly easy and reaching the exits shouldn’t pose too much of a problem for fans of the genre. The real challenge comes from the three hidden items tucked away on each level. Actually, while there is a bit of exploration involved, the levels are really straightforward and the “hidden” objects are usually in plain sight. Getting to them is a different matter entirely though, and usually involves solving a puzzle.
Filo’s clones, or the “Me’s” as he refers to them, does exactly as he does and they do not really have any special powers of their own. Just like Filo they can turn into platform blocks which are used as stepping stones, among other things, but to use any powers requires the consumption of special food found throughout the levels. The powers are vital as there are certain enemies and areas on each level that prevent the use of your block transformations. This means that in order to reach certain areas or bypass enemies you are going to have to turn clones into trampolines, floating boxing gloves or shining blocks in order to solve the puzzles. Three powers don’t sound like much, but each can only be used once and the order in which they are used is often vital to solving a puzzle correctly. It is hard to explain just how clever some of the puzzles involving these abilities are, but you will experience them first hand when playing the game. A few times I thought that I had figured out how to reach an item that seemed inaccessible only to discover something else thwarting me at the last step. It can be frustrating, of course, but it is also immensely rewarding when you finally make the breakthrough. Most of the items are optional though, so if you are stuck, you can just keep going towards the exit and returned later after you have given your brain a rest.
The items you collect include “Ark Seeds” which increases the amount of clones you have following you, artifacts which have to be crafted back at the hub world in order to use their enhancements, and costumes. The costumes only offer aesthetic changes to your clones instead of bestowing any types of abilities, but they are so adorable that you will find yourself actively trying to unlock new ones. A few of the costumes are based on other Indie game characters and look extra adorable on the Me’s.
Speaking of visuals, So Many Me features some beautiful 2-D artwork and great character designs. The whole mood of the game is very cheerful and upbeat with vivid colors and cute animations. Even the enemy designs are more cute than threatening, so if you are looking for blood and gore you won’t find it here. The levels are themed around a dark forest, mine, skyraft and outskirts as well as a volcano. While these are all themes that we have seen before in platform titles, So Many Me uses its charming visual style to give each a unique look. The music is also a perfect match for the visuals with some catchy tunes and cute sound effects.
I tried playing So Many Me using a keyboard, but quickly found that a decent controller is a far superior option. The controls can be a bit tricky at first until you master the skill of transforming a clone into a stone block, performing a jump, recalling the clone and then repeating the process again in rapid succession. Don’t worry though, as the game is quite forgiving and dying only places you back a few steps at the most. The only place where it becomes an issue is during the boss battles where dying usually requires you to start from scratch. Since Filo can only take one hit before dying this can become quite frustrating and feels a bit out of place compared to the challenge in the rest of the game. Figuring out the patterns of the bosses are quite easy, but you have to hit them a few times in succession in order to defeat them, which is a pain if you keep dying while trying to get in the last hit. The last boss in particular was a real pain and soured the experience a bit.
If you do like a challenge you will appreciate “Chronos Castle” which contains some bonus levels and is accessible from the hub world. In the castle there are no checkpoints and the platforming is a lot harder than in the normal gaming levels. It’s completely optional, but worth the effort and adds some longevity to the game. Completing all the achievements and finding all the hidden items will keep you busy for ages, so the game really offers good value for money.
About the only complaint I have about So Many Me is the boss battles and this is something that is subjective. The rest of the game is brilliant and I would love to see some of the stretch goals from the Kickstarter, such as the costume and level editors added to the game at some point. Of course, this will probably depend on how well the game sells, so if you are a fan of the genre you really can’t afford to pass up on So Many Me. It manages to impress even in the face of some stiff competition and is a great addition to the genre.
- OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
- Processor: Intel Core™2 Duo Processor, AMD Athlon x2 Processor
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 series, ATI Radeon HD 2400 series
- DirectX: Version 9.0c
- Hard Drive: 1 GB available space
- Sound Card: DirectSound compatible (DirectX 9.0c or higher)
- OS: OS X Maverics
- Processor: 1.7 GHz Intel Core i5
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: Intel HD Graphic 3000
- Hard Drive: 1 GB available space