Thailand-based Extend Interactive was kind enough to give me an early build of its colorful 2D puzzle platformer, So Many Me, aiming for IGF 2012 fame. The 2D puzzle platformer is a popular genre among indie devs, but from the 13 levels I played, I think Extend has innovated enough to warrant praise.
I played So Many Me with WASD controls on a laptop. It didn’t inherently hinder my experience, but I am a natural-born controller gamer. As the green hero, Dave, collects his identical twins, the first mechanic that became available took me the most time to adjust to: the Clone Stone.
The head of the Me pack is the one that transforms, and I found myself hitting the button to transform a little too early or late, such that the following Mes did not land on top of the stone. I don’t blame the game design for this; I actually credit them for making me stretch and recondition my platforming skills. Fortunately, Extend has built in several restart points, so players don’t have to needlessly repeat large areas.
In addition to transforming into many different helpful objects like a ball to bounce high on and a bright globe that clears poisonous fumes, the Mes can fuse together to solve other puzzles. Players must make the Mes highlight all the white outlines in the fusion areas rather quickly. I could pull off the dinosaur fusion rather quickly, but the tank/elephant fusion took several tries.
I won’t go over all of the great gameplay mechanics, yet: the portals, the doors, the switches, or all the other transformations. The duplicating machine, however, was a welcome but challenging addition, making me focus on two batches of Mes jumping in different areas simultaneously.
For a glimpse of all the other mechanics of So Many Me, check this video:
So Many Me’s music is very soothing thanks to the eclectic talent at HyperDuck Sound Works (more of their great music and interview are here). With music, graphics, and gameplay all seemingly nailed in the preview, hopefully the teams will fill the 37 other stages with just as much great content. I have a feeling fans of the genre will be very pleased when So Many Me finally becomes playable around March 2012 on PC and Mac.
PS: I think the world will want some So Many Me plushes or toys, but I could be wrong. What do you all think?