As I first sat down to play Pid for review, I realized that I knew absolutely nothing about the game. I’ve played a few 2-D puzzle games like this before such as “Braid” and the spectacular “LIMBO,” but by no means am I a master at the genre. Pid immediately drew me in with it’s unique, charming style, and I can safely say that going into it and knowing nothing about it made it a pleasant surprise. With that said, as much as I enjoyed my time with Pid, a few minor issues keep it from reaching the heights of the games I previously mentioned.
Let me start off by saying that I applaud the developers on the work that’s been done here. Pid is an excellent looking game that plays remarkably well. The puzzles are interesting and varied, the level design and character models are unique and quirky, and the gameplay mechanics work quite well. It’s easy to tell that a lot of love and care was put into this project and it shows.
Pid puts you in the role of Kurt, a young boy on his quest to get back home. When he is abandoned inexplicably into a bizarre world with little help or information from the locals, Kurt decides to take the initiative and find his own way back. Along the way Kurt finds an orb that gives him the ability to throw down up to two gravity wells at a time in order to traverse the levels. Depending on where you place the gravity well, the trajectory will be different. If you throw one on the floor, it’ll project you upwards. Place one on a slanted wall and it will push you diagonally and so on and so forth. These gravity wells can be used in conjunction with one another to help you collect items, distract or destroy enemies, and fight bosses.
Most of the puzzles are fairly simple and will only require a few tries to get right, if not on the first try. However, the game has some instances where the difficulty curve goes way off and I felt like I was being punished. I chalk this up to some poor level design decisions, and not as much player error. Again, I’m not saying that I’m a master at this genre, but when I’m cursing at the screen repeatedly at such a charming game because I keep getting shafted and I’ve made no errors of my own, that tells me that something’s not quite right.
While many of the puzzles and bosses are very interesting, at times I found myself feeling a little bored. Regardless of the charm, the game isn’t always engaging and can be a little monotonous from time to time. Sure, there are items that you can acquire later that help with solving various puzzles, as well as new enemy types to outwit. However, none of it was interesting enough to make me yearn for what was around the next corner. I never felt overly compelled to get to the next area. The checkpoints are forgiving enough, but one could argue that they are too forgiving, giving you little incentive to play it safe. The bosses, while amazingly well designed and quite funny at times, were fairly simple to defeat and never felt like real threats. The checkpoint system is probably to blame for this also.
The music in the game is absolutely fantastic. It fits the art style and gameplay perfectly and I caught myself constantly tapping my Xbox controller to the beat of the music (you know you all do it too). Whoever designed the music for the game should be applauded for the work they’ve done here and it’s easily one of the high points of the game.
If you enjoy 2-D puzzle platforming games, then Pid just might be the game you’re looking for. While not groundbreaking, it’s functional and can offer some fun moments. It’s charming, well designed, and is a great way to tease your brain for a few hours.