Some say there are two kinds of people in this little old world – you’re either a dog or a cat person. Do you like an adorable best friend, who will follow you until the end of the earth, greet you with excitement and affection, and learn new tricks with a faithful wag and a playful demeanour. Or do you like your pets who think you’re subservient to their extreme majesty, would step over you if you were having a heart attack and like to have fight clubs in the back garden at 3am on a Monday.
As you can tell I fall neatly into the first category. But cats are very popular – just look at YouTube – and I guess the developers of I and Me think that too, for it is they who have made two little fur balls the heroes of I and Me.
I and Me is an interesting little puzzler that you will enjoy spending some time with, even with the choice of protagonists. You play as two little black cats who are connected to each other in movement; so if you go left, both cats move left at the same time. If one cat jumps, the other cat does it simultaneously and so forth. This is where the puzzle side of things comes in, and the hard bit is trying to negotiate both cats through a world when there are platforms to climb, movable ledges to try and balance on, and enemies to avoid. At times there are sheep you can bounce on and bees to misdirect, allowing the cats to get across the level unblemished. For success to be felt, you need to get both cats into two photo frames, which sees the level completed. But how do you achieve this?
Well, it’s very hard to explain in words, but I promise you that when you start playing this game, everything just clicks into place, especially early on. For example, you can lodge one cat behind a wall, while the other can move freely to the right. This creates space between the cats and allows one to then maybe jump to another level, before repeating the process with the opposite cat. Or one can jump onto a sheep, propelling it across a platform while the other… I told you it was hard to explain, didn’t I? What you do get is a very interesting and intriguing puzzle game, one that tests your dexterity and brain power as you try to work out each level and your progression through.
There are over 90 levels included in I and Me, letting you explore all four seasons of the year; roughly working out at around 20 or so stages per season. You also have some secret scrolls to find in each season, and collecting these sees each stage comes across a bit more difficult; not impossible, just trickier to complete. If you get really stuck, you can switch to a black and white world where it gives you a massive hint/playthrough of what you need to do to get through. As you may expect, later on in the game this is a very worthwhile tool. Others amongst you might think this feature needs to be burnt as a heretic to gaming, but we don’t judge here and I’ll happily take any help I can get.
I and Me all feels very original with some good mechanics and a pleasant environment to spend some time in. The game is designed for short little gameplay sessions and it’s great to just pick up and play. There are times when it does get very tricky, and you will die a lot trying to work out the best route, but you always have the evil option of looking at the teaser solution so frustration rarely hits home. There is a story of sorts to enjoy too, with some philosophical quotes before each level that tells a mysterious tale of identity and life. It’s nice to see a little bit of depth added to proceedings.
Visually and I and Me is a pleasant world to spend some time in. Each season is represented well and there are nice hues and tones utilised, with a decent character design throughout. The cats are very cute and I especially enjoyed the moment when you are waiting to work out how to proceed as they curl up for a quick 40 winks. The soundtrack is a calming – and at times, hypnotic – melody that is a perfect backdrop for this nice little platformer. It’s all whimsical piano that calms the mind as you die for the hundredth time.
I’ve enjoyed my time with this little cute platform puzzler, although I do think that I and Me is probably more of a fit for a Nintendo Switch based gamer; perfect for that short commute or a little wait in the dentist’s reception area. But it all works fine on Xbox One as well, delivering a pleasant and pretty experience that will tax the brain in a good way. There are enough levels to keep you entertained too, and it is this which more than justifies the price, meaning even the hardiest dog lovers should embrace the other furry friends and give I and Me a go.