Sometimes, even the simplest of ideas can be created into an enjoyable and entertaining game, they can even be twisted into a sadistic and difficult one should the developer wish to increase its challenge. I and Me is one such game. It’s built from a simple idea, two cats move at the same time as you push a direction or jump, just the game loves to throw spikes, hedgehogs and other environmental hazards at you to keep you on your toes.
It’s a rather simplistic puzzle game, yet it’s one that quickly becomes addictive and hard to give up on. Let’s see why
There’s little story in I and Me, so we could invent our own I suppose. You play the role of two fluffy kittens, Bill and Ben (not to be confused with Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men). They were out playing one day when they became lost in the woods at the end of the garden. They tried to return home to their catflaps and back into the warmth of their home, but they have been cursed to always move at the same pace and in the same direction as each other! This, combined with the many woodland creatures who will accidentally hurt you, means that they are having a hard time returning home so they can claw their owner’s sofa!
So, as the all-seeing Cat God, you must guide our fluffy felines through some ‘progressively getting more difficult’ platforming stages as you control both of them at the same time. If you say jump, they’ll both be forced to do so, even if it means one of them goes head-first into a wall of spikes (poor kitty!). So, using your brain and logical thinking, you must work out not only how to avoid the obstacles in your way, but also how to distance our protagonist pussies until they’re just the right distance from one another to both enter their cat flaps at the same time.
Sounds easy? It is until the levels start getting harder and harder, and the developers introduce more hazards than you can keep track of. However, there’s one thing the game keeps consistent, the game is very addictive and will always make you want to carry on until you can get these little furballs home!
Okay, imaginary story aside, I wasn’t lying about I and Me being addictive yet also frustrating and rather annoying at the same time. The controls within the game are solid though, so any slip-ups or mistakes are the fault of the player (you) rather than the game being unfair. As I mentioned before, the core mechanic of the game is that you’re controlling two protagonists at the same time, so pushing left will see you both move left, the same with right and jump. So, you must be wary of your surroundings with both characters, and not just one, if one of them hits anything then the level will restart.
The harder levels, later on, also begin to spread out the catflaps, so not only do you need to get to the end of the stage, but you also need to logically stretch out the distance between the two of them. The way you do it is simple in practice, if you see a ledge, have one jump over it and the other just walks into it. Even though the cat isn’t moving, the other one will continue to walk. This process is used a lot as you progress, having to create the purrfect distance for jumping over stepping-stones, jumping over hedgehogs, and even so one can progress upwards whilst the other says within a spike-infested area on the ground.
Thankfully, when your puss-puss inevitably bites the dust and ends up losing one if it’s nine lives (it actually has infinite lives, they are super-cats), the level restarts almost instantly – as if the game is saying “Go on, give it just one more go!”.
The game consists of 92 levels, along with a bunch of collectables as well! Which is quite insane. Also, being a Ratalaika Games published game, you’d expect it to only require you to do the first set of levels for the platinum right?! Wrong, I think they have changed the trophies around a little since I criticised them over devaluing their games as you now need to not only complete each chapter, but you also have to complete all the levels within each chapter as well. I say that as two separate things because the game actually moves you onto the next chapter before you’ve completed all of the levels within your current chapter.
The chapters are basically your four seasons, Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. Each one has its own set of hazards as well as them all sharing a bunch, such as the dreaded spikes! As well as this, each chapter has it’s own visual style, with the bright, colourful aesthetics of Summer turning into an orange for Autumn, white snow in Winter and even more vibrancy throughout Spring. They all come with their own accompanying music also, with the developers utilising music which suits the season nicely so that you become even more immersed within the action.
As a side note, as with all Ratalaika Games‘ games, I and Me is a cross-buy title on the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, so if you purchase the game, you’ll get access to it on both formats within the same sale as well as two platinum trophies. Also, other regions will give you a new trophy stack, so you could get up to three platinums with the digital games and possibly five if Play-Asia has it on physical in Asia.
I and Me is a fun, yet very frustrating, puzzle platformer which will keep you puzzled for more than a few hours. The saying is true, don’t judge a book by its cover, despite I and Me looking rather cute, the later levels are very sadistic as one wrong move and you’ll either become hedgehog food or get a spike rammed into your face! With a little perseverance and a lot of patience, you should be able to pass all of the seasons on your own, without any form of guide or help. The relaxing, and season-specific, music will also help you stay focused throughout your adventure as well.
If you’re the type of person who gets frustrated easily and gives up on games because they’re being forced to replay the same level over and over again due to the insta-death mechanics, then I and Me may not be for you. However, if you like to be challenged and like the idea of the simultaneous movement concept, then pick up the game today as it’s rather cheap.
I and Me£7.99
- - Very nice visuals and music which both perfectly represent the season they are portraying
- - Clever puzzles which gradually become rather difficult to solve
- - You get to control two fluffy cats!
- - Will take a while to complete all 90+ levels
- - Cheap price and cross-buy, so multi-platinum
- - The harder levels later on are rage-fuel as it takes many retries to get through them