Text version of the review is below the video!
I and Me is a brand new puzzle-platformer game for the Nintendo Switch by indie studio Wish Fang. Please note, the game was released on Steam back in May; this review is for the Switch version — which as far as I’m aware is identical to the Steam version.
In the game, players control two black cats and must traverse a stage in order to place both cats in the goals. The puzzles can get complicated with moving platforms, switches, and various animals that will impact your mobility and position within the level. So, should you include yourself in this I and Me? Read on!
Between each level, there is a short story (sometimes only a sentence) progressing the overall narrative. Like the name suggests, the story concerns the cat, who finds himself also inhabiting the world. It comes off a bit too pretentious in its presentation. Perhaps it’s the extravagant font the developers used for the text, or the fact that there is no voice acting, but the game has a major pretentious vibe to it.
Some levels have collectible parchments which provide extra challenges. These sometimes add a bit to the ‘narrative’, but in a lot of cases they simply repeat the intro text, which was a bit disappointing to say the least. The narrative isn’t that interesting — it mainly deals with depression and loneliness…but it’s a theme that isn’t really explored in interesting ways. I feel there are so many other games that deal with these themes much better, that I and Me feels like it was just going through the motions with its’ own narrative. The narrative exists somewhere between trying too hard, but not enough. Either way, it didn’t connect with me in any major way and is incredibly forgetful.
The core mechanic of the game — controlling the two cats — is present in all the levels (around 90 total). Throughout the game, new twists are introduced. I and Me does a great job of introducing the mechanics through signs and natural experimentation. Some of the mechanics are jumping on sheep, avoiding spikes, and carrying lights around. Nothing that completely blew my mind in terms of novel and interesting elements but most of them are used fairly well.
There are some levels that aren’t really difficult to figure out — they are just annoying. The “last” level of the game doesn’t feel intelligently designed…it feels cheap. There are some levels in which one cat will mirror the other one without warning. I felt frustrated with those levels because for other levels if the cat has inverse controls it does a good job signaling it with a slight visual effect. However, for levels where that’s the gimmick…it doesn’t have that particle effect. The design feels very inconsistent.
If players are ever stuck on a level, they can simply press “X” to view part of, or in some cases, the entire solution. It means players won’t have to look up on YouTube a guide demonstrating how to solve the level, but having the answer right there kind of cheapens the experience. When I pressed “X” I thought it’d provide a hint…not show the answer.
Overall, the game has a nice feel. The graphics are pretty standard — there is a theme going on but it’s mediocre. There’s one element — the inverse magic wand — that feels completely out of place though. There’s not a lot of animation within the game, and no rumble support which is incredibly disappointing. The soundtrack isn’t memorable, but it’s pretty calming and doesn’t get annoying. The music will definitely put you to sleep.
There is an unlockable (after players all collect 20 parchments), which I unlocked but I’m not sure what it actually is (the unlock message disappeared quickly). I think it might be the extra levels in the worlds. I severely dislike the font that is used in the story text, as some letters will look like other letters in English. The credits’ design was cute but it was also annoying to get through.
Essentially, I and Me is a mediocre, unremarkable game. It doesn’t do anything particularly interesting, and it’s easily forgettable. I and Me is only recommended for those who need a puzzle game on the Switch. It’s 1,000 YEN, and has English, Japanese, Chinese, Russian and Spanish translations within the game. Considering how many great games are on the Switch, it’s probably best to leave I and Me alone.