These past few years have seen a heavy influx of puzzle games, and many of them have stood out. With such a plethora of them, it’s hard to create one that is unique, but Might and Delight have accomplished exactly that with their Puzzle/Platformer, Pid. While inconsistent in parts, Pid holds up its end of the bargain for the most part, delivering a riveting experience full of inventive brainteasers all wrapped up in vibrant aesthetic.
Pid puts you in the shoes of a little boy named Kurt, who finds himself stranded on a strange planet after an even stranger bus ride. Although the planet seems to be inhabited by friendly, yet unique characters, all Kurt wants to do is find his way back home. Here’s where you come in. Early in the game, Kurt comes across an orb that allows him to manipulate gravity. This, coupled with several other items you encounter and use over the course of the game, will allow you to make your way through the various puzzles.
Here’s what we liked:
Gravity wells make for some fun puzzles: What sets Pid apart from other Puzzle/Platformers is its manipulation of gravity via the orb you find. This orb allows you to launch two separate gravity wells that will transport Kurt to unreachable areas. Throw a well at the wall to your right, float left. Throw it at the floor, float up. But since you can only have two active at a time, this provides a fun mechanic that has you deploying and removing wells in midair, providing unique challenges and requiring fast reflexes.
Varied assortment of items: There are other items apart from the orb that keep this adventure varied. You’ll come across various enemies in the game, and these can be either fought or avoided with the use of your varied arsenal. You’ll have access to bombs, both blue and red to attack enemies. Blue bombs explode on impact, while red bombs have a timer. If a well isn’t enough to get to a hard to reach place, you can use firecrackers to help you jump higher. You can also get vests to protect yourself from harm and some other items that I won’t spoil for you here. All these items can be purchased with the games currency, stars. As you make your way through the levels, you can collect strings of stars that float around, and these will permit you to buy the items mentioned previously.
Clever level design that keeps you on your toes: The many creatures you encounter aren’t your only enemies. The environment is also against you sometimes. Some rooms will be made up of a metallic blue material that doesn’t allow the use of gravity wells, so you’ll have to figure out how to beat them by using other items or making your way across the platforms. Same dynamic with some enemies. Red enemies can be manipulated with gravity, while blue ones won’t react to it. This is one of the areas where Pid most shines. Most of the rooms you enter not only have a very unique look, but provide a fun challenge thanks to their inventive level design.
Precise controls: The controls feel precise and immediate, something very important when playing a platformer, and even more so in the instance of Pid, where you don’t only platform, but juggle the gravity wells as you do it.
Beautiful art and soundtrack: Pid is a looker, thanks to its smart use of shapes and colors. The game sports a pastel color scheme that is perfectly complemented by its use of hard, geometric shapes to design most of its locations and other characters. The music provides a soothing melody that’s different depending on the level you’re in, and just helps to heighten the games ambience. The assortments composed by mixing jazz, electronic sounds, and others are so unique and catchy, that’ll you’ll find yourself humming them long after you turn the game off.
What we didn’t like:
Pacing issues and erratic difficulty curve: The problem with Pid is its pacing, which is out of step with the rest of the game. Sometimes you’ll find yourself playing a mixture of easy and challenging but fair puzzles, and then, all of a sudden, you’ll find yourself before some obtuse puzzles that defy understanding. There isn’t a fair difficulty curve that eases you into the harder puzzles, you’re just thrown into them without any warning. This provides for a few annoying moments while playing the game that ruin what is otherwise a fun and pleasant experience. Don’t feel bad if you find yourself scouring the internet for the answer to some puzzles.
Despite its pacing issues and inconsistent difficulty curve, Pid succeeds in creating a unique experience by cleverly using its mechanics, art, music and level design in perfect harmony, crafting what is for the most part, an engaging puzzler that will put your noggin to good use.
Score: Buy It!