So Many Me is the latest in a long string of platforming titles released this year, but manages to be unique enough to separate itself from the pack. The game is instantly intriguing, with its vibrant colour palette and family-friendly art style that oozes fun for players of all ages.
You take on the role of Filo, a small green creature who is suddenly summoned by a wise but forgetful Guardian. Filo is labelled the ‘chosen one’ and is tasked with saving the world of Xio from an evil adversary. So Many Me features a wonderfully interwoven sense of humour. As Filo approaches his quest with a great deal of sarcasm, the game even makes fun of itself, referencing the genre’s penchant for quick introductions that give little information to gamers. It’s a very clever way to start.
The story behind Filo is continuously engaging. Even if the accompanying soundtrack is lacklustre at times, the game’s tongue-in-cheek humour and crisp eye-catching graphical backdrops do a commendable job of entertaining the player.
The main idea behind So Many Me is to collect Seeds. Every new seed unlocks another green creature – referred to as a ‘Me’ – that follows Filo throughout the game. Each Me transforms into a stone block allowing Filo to manoeuvre past hazards, obstacles and enemies. There is an extra Me available to unlock in most stages and you’ll need lots of blocks/Mes to negotiate certain puzzles later on. This is a very good way of incorporating Filo’s clones and making them a central part of So Many Me’s gameplay.
Extend Studio have kept the game engaging at every turn. The difficulty curve is a gentle one to begin with, but that eventually stacks up, coupling basic gameplay mechanics with new ones. Players will encounter mobile turrets and missile launchers and must use the all-important Transmuter Fruits, granting Filo and his team temporary bounce, flight, and light-based abilities.
It’s when things get this hectic that a game needs a well-complemented control scheme, and So Many Me delivers on that front, too. Players can activate multiple Mes without any latency, and the gravitational effects of the stone blocks feels very natural. Even the little things, such as using the right stick when stationary to see further into a level, are extremely helpful when a gauntlet of traps awaits. Extend Studio has delivered a responsive, tight layout where player mistakes can be quickly rectified.
However, despite these strengths, So Many Me still has some lingering gameplay issues. Early on, my game was plagued with invisible walls, making basic platforming a real chore. The base jumping height of Filo and his friends is also too short, resulting in some unnecessary failures when that extra centimetre of height could’ve cleared many hazards instead of resulting in failure. Furthermore, there were lots of times when Filo and his Me perished from barely clipping spikes and missiles; the game has an unceasing problem with irregular hit-boxes. This makes So Many Me a frustrating title at times, and is an underwhelming part of a well-rounded game with so much content.
Despite these hitches, there are also invaluable objects known as Gene Splicers. These adorable “Meeple Movers” can transport Filo and his Me all at once throughout stages. Furthermore, they are also useful for firing projectiles at enemies or clearing obstacles concealing loot; the fire-breathing dinosaur, elephant tank and bomb-pooping bird are all excellent inclusions. It’s a great feeling to clear a stage after having used all of the tools at your disposal, as well as collecting additional Me costumes, coins and power-ups along the way.
So Many Me’s biggest tick comes courtesy of its hub world, Horizon Ruin. Here, players can navigate the different stages (via gates) within the game, purchase the aforementioned costumes and power-ups, and explore surrounding areas using several Gene Splicers. It might not seem like a lot, but it’s a significant addition that serves as a safe area to break up your constant stream of deaths.
There’s also Chrono Castle, a segment within Horizon Ruin where players will spend a lot of time even after completing the main story. This is a well-crafted area comprised of 15 stressful trials for the completionists among us, with even more collectible coins on offer.
Players will die during the game, as Filo is frequently alone in his ventures. This is where So Many Me displays an undercurrent of menace, as there are no checkpoints and failure means, heartbreakingly, starting from the beginning.
So Many Me’s strangely addictive nature stems from its enjoyable and challenging level design. Where similar games like Badland: Game of the Year Edition made your company of clones a hindrance, So Many Me succeeds in adapting a familiar formula to still be unique, addictive, and a lot of fun. Its few negatives don’t diminish the sheer amount of positives on offer, offering a breath of fresh air to the platforming genre.
So Much Fun
A platforming pleasure with a few minor hiccups.