So Many Me is a masterfully crafted 2D puzzle-platformer that manages to stand out in an over-saturated genre thanks to its intelligent level design, brilliant gameplay, crisp graphics, and its charming cast of characters. As Filo, the short blobby alien thing, you gain the aid of your doppelgangers — called Me — to assist with platforming and puzzle solving. It’s this specific mechanic that acts as the backbone of the game, but So Many Me excels in so many different areas while doing little wrong in the process.
The game starts with Filo awakening one day, hungry and ready to chase down some lunch. His quest for food leads to a chance meeting with Asimov, a brilliant being whose words of wisdom falls upon deaf ears due to Filo’s gung-ho, care free attitude. Without missing a beat, Filo leaps in to the body of water between them, unconcerned about any sort of consequences. Reacting to the water, Filo’s body begins launching seeds all over the world, which act as his doppelgangers upon discovery.
Enlisting the help of your many, many Me’s, you’ll use them to form blocks in mid-air to traverse long gaps, or ascend to out of reach places, as well as weigh down pressure plates, but that’s just the beginning. As Filo and friends discover different fruits, you’ll gain one-time use abilities like bouncy blocks, blocks that can distract enemies, or even ones that launch a giant blue fist in to the air. And if that wasn’t enough, certain levels even allow your Me army to morph in to one larger form, such as the Jellosaur, which allows you to break down walls and attack enemies.
As a 2D puzzle platformer, it’s expected that your goal is to make it to the end of each level, but in So Many Me, it’s trying to figure out when to use which ability to avoid getting stuck, getting lost, or having to restart the level from square one. On the surface, it’s easy to chalk it up as a kid-friendly platformer inspired by the Nintendo generation, and it’s definitely an accessible title for the most part, but So Many Me can be a very, very challenging game, especially if you’re the collecting type.
So Many Me could have easily been renamed So Many Collectibles. Each level consists of three hidden items to collect, ranging from new costumes and additional doppelgangers, to in-game currency and brand new artifacts that unlock special permanent features for Filo and his Me’s; like becoming immune to rocket damage, or simple aesthetic changes like flipping when you jump. If you’re an indie game connoisseur, you’ll instantly recognize many of the additional costumes, like a Fez hat, an A.R.E.S. helmet, and Flying Hawk from Whispering Willows, but figuring out how to conquer each level’s expertly crafted puzzles to obtain these items will offer even the most seasoned player a nice challenge.
One thing I really enjoyed was that each of Filo’s Me’s had their own unique personality. Brainy Me, for instance, was obviously the smart one, while Sturdy Me was more independent and standoff-ish. Each Me can also be given their own unique costume, making it easier to tell who was who. The Me’s aren’t the only interesting characters either, as you’ll also come across Flora; a larger pink lady who considers Filo her rescuer, although fails to correctly remember his name. You’ll also run in to Roktarh, a wooly purple craftsman in the game’s hub world, as well as numerous characters from Cloud-9 — the bad guys.
A platformer wouldn’t be complete without some boss fights, and So Many Me offers up a diverse bunch of baddies to take down with your new-found powers. I personally found the boss fights to be hit or miss though. I really enjoyed one of the bosses that introduced a parkour Bit.Trip Runner style of play, but found some of the others a bit too repetitive; sometimes requiring the same tactic for the entire duration. Each of the big bosses were memorable, but weren’t always as fun as the levels leading up to their introduction.
Another area of concern for me is the game’s dialogue. It’s fun and cute, but at the same time riddled with typos and oddly worded sentences. There was a large portion of the game’s first half where every other sentence was poorly worded, like “I saw a key over there, its color is pretty matches to that thing.”, or “we just hit the rainbow and the we are here.” It didn’t kill it for me in any way, as the gameplay, crisp visuals, and beautiful character animations far outweighed my need for a perfectly edited narrative.
My only other concern lies in the game’s framerate, which seemed to stutter at times in the OUYA version that I played for this review. I’m not sure if it’s an issue that carries over to the PC, Mac, or Linux version, but there were certain times where the drop in frame rate would lead to an undeserved death due to a missed jump. I would estimate that 90% of my time spent with So Many Me was near perfect, but the other 10% contained a noticeable drop in frame rate, so to be fair, it’s a very minor complaint.
Overall, So Many Me was such a great experience that I immediately had to gush about it to my peers. If you’re in to puzzle platformers, especially challenging ones, So Many Me should be at the top of your list, especially if you’re an OUYA owner. Its gameplay is masterfully crafted, and features such brilliant use of Filo’s doppelgangers to solve puzzles and unlock secrets.
On top of being an absolute pleasure to play, its crisp, cartoony visuals and vivid colors offer a gorgeous presentation that I’d only expect to see on a Nintendo console; not a tiny box the size of a baseball. So Many Me is definitely the premier platformer for the OUYA console, and one of the best games I’ve played so far this year.
Recommended for fans of: Indie platformers, challenging puzzle platformers, single player games with lots of replay value or collectibles. Also single player games that use numerous characters, like Lost Vikings, Trine, The Cave, or Three Dead Zed.
*This review is based on the OUYA release of So Many Me. The Game is also available on PC, Mac, and Linux, but unless we find significant differences between each version, consider this our definitive review.
Bradley Keene is the Executive Editor here at What’s Your Tag?, generally handling reviews, public relations, and our social media communications. He’s an aspiring video game journalist, Baltimore native, and on again/off again WoW player that favors roguelikes, horror games, and point-and-click adventures. His favorite console is the Dreamcast, favorite game is the original Metroid, and he could watch The Goonies for the rest of his life. Contact him by e-mail at the address above, or follow his insanity on Twitter.
I also played and reviewed this, but it was too hard for me. I really liked it though, especially its art style.
Also, I can confirm that it doesn’t have frame rate issues on the PC I was playing on, and my PC is a hybrid tablet thing that’s not the most powerful thing in the world. Perhaps an OUYA issue?
It could very well just be an OUYA issue, yeah. Thanks for clarifying, I definitely appreciate it.
It did get pretty hard in the later 3 worlds, especially trying to collect all the costumes. I would sit there staring blankly with no sort of solution in sight.. and then something would eventually click. I loved it, but it’s cutesy exterior was extremely deceiving.