Given the charming, cutesy art and some emphasis on riding creatures, my initial thoughts were that So Many Me
would be akin to Nintendo’s favorite kid-friendly pink puffball, Kirby, with some added puzzle elements to round out the package. And in some ways, I was right. The aforementioned art design is adorable and inviting, and riding the animals, (especially the dino), brought back fond memories of riding Rick the Hamster or Coo the Owl from Kirby’s Dreamland. But this is where the similarities to Nintendo’s friendliest series end, and for the better, in many respects. So Many Me
’s emphasis on expansive, challenging puzzles and platforming prowess provides an exceptionally demanding cerebral and dexterous experience that I never expected. And I absolutely adored every moment of it.
From the moment you boot up the game, you’re assaulted by one of the cutest and charming art styles this side of Kirby’s Epic Yarn
, and from the get-go, the bubbly movement of the characters and the world they inhabit put a big smile on my face. But as adorable as they are, the graphics disguise the true nature of So Many Me
. It’s extremely
challenging. It’s easy to reach the end of each level, sure, but by only
doing so, you’re missing out on more than half of what the game has to offer. Of the main worlds, (of which there are four, each with their own specific gimmicks) reaching the end, as I said, is easy to do. Rather than simple exercises in moving rightwards whilst jumping over small pits, levels range from small to expansive networks filled with traps and tricks for you decipher your way around. Most are avoidable, unless you aim to collect the three collectibles in each stage. Each level hides a costume, an extra Me, and an artifact. And these aren’t hidden in the traditional sense; you’ll be able to see them, plain as day, as well as the seemingly impossible-to-bypass trickery blocking your path to each. This is where the true
game lies. The puzzles between you and those delectable collectibles range from the small and simple to the overly complex and level-wide. Even once you’ve figured out what
you’re supposed to do, it’s an entirely different matter pulling it all off without screwing up.
And you will mess up. A big part of what makes these often complex puzzle layouts complex , is that in congruence with an often demanding level of dexterity on your part, you will have to carefully manage the use of your me’s which provide you with stepping stones, switch presses, bounce pads and other varying abilities dependent on world. Mess up the proper order of tasks even once, and it’s back to step one. It’s as much about strategy as it is making each clean jump. I often found myself stuck on figuring out several of the more complex puzzles in the game for nearly a half hour or more, since there are often so many pieces you can experiment with, but it made the satisfaction of finally
getting that artifact or costume so much sweeter. But most importantly, the collectibles matter
. Besides the obvious use of having extra mes or new costumes (which you can use to uniquely dress up each and every me), artifacts are used to purchase perks, which range from the purely aesthetic to the all-but-necessary in reaching certain collectibles. There are no superfluous “good job!” collectibles here, and when the game really
makes you earn each and every one, it truly feels like an achievement.
Luckily, checkpoints are forgiving, and so long as you remain in the level, enemies do not respawn outside of specific instances, even after you fall into a spike pit a half dozen times. And thankfully, you’re never asked to find every collectible in a single go; you’re free to try again at any time, as each level is easily selected from the game’s pause menu. Allow me to iterate: Once you find a me in a given level, or a costume, or an artifact, it’s yours. Once you kill an enemy, outside of specific instances, that enemy remains gone, as long as you remain in the level. This all leads to levels feeling more like contained little worlds, rather than just
levels, each with their own sense of progression, especially in some specific instances, where smaller puzzles act as cogs leading into a whole. Further variation in mechanics come in the form of your creatures, which you’ll utilize plenty, and the boss battles ending each world. These are generally of no real concern once you have their given patterns down, and it’s only until the final boss that you might have any real trouble, as the difficulty is dramatically increased here from what you’ve faced previously. But again, it’s all a matter of pattern memorization and careful movement.
For anyone more inclined toward the purely platformer aspect of So Many Me
, in addition to the four main worlds and end boss levels, the developers have kindly opted to include a fifth bonus world, filled almost entirely with exceptionally challenging platformance gauntlets. Many of these courses demand perfection on the part of the player to succeed, even more so than some of the later levels in the standard worlds, and each offers two elusive artifacts just out of reach for all but the most skilled platformer aficionados. With no checkpoints to speak of, a few skirt the line of frustration that lies between the game’s mechanics and your own inability to succeed, though it typically lies closer to the latter. I cannot stress how challenging some these completely optional segments are, and along with the larger puzzles provide some of the most satisfying moments in the game to best, especially with both artifact pieces in tow.So Many Me
is brilliant. If it wasn’t clear in the preceding paragraphs, know now that I adored the entire experience. Despite looking more kid friendly in nature, So Many Me
offers a fantastic challenge for puzzle and platformer fanatics alike, with some extremely intricate puzzles requiring serious forethought as well as dexterity and finesse. And to that end, allow me to make clear one final time: more than half the game lies in collecting the various trinkets. Failure to even attempt would be denying yourself the immense joy in besting the devious designs keeping them from you, and would keep you from experiencing the best of what this game has to offer, since reaching the end itself contains comparably little challenge on its own. Try and best each level, trinkets and all, and I guarantee that you will love the adventure as much as I. It took me 10 hours to complete everything, and that included plenty of screen-staring just trying to figure out many of the given puzzles. A keener mind than mine will finish it much more quickly. Me
offers an adorable world, filled with beautiful scenery and character design, a silly and very self-aware sense of humor, plenty of seekables, and puzzles and platforming designed for a matured gamer wanting an actual challenge in their cutesy puzzle-platformer. That challenge is delivered in spades, and you’ll be grinning ear to ear, in between bouts of cursing at your own ineptitude. If you have a question about So Many Me or this review, leave a comment and I will answer to the best of my ability.