Pid Hands-on Preview from E3 2012 -- Please Your Senses, Bend Your MindBy Rob Manuel - Posted Jun 13, 2012
In a world filled with superheroes and mindless violence, Pid, from indie developer Might and Delight, takes a refreshing change of pace by presenting you a beautiful puzzle-platformer that taxes your mind more than your trigger finger.
You are a small, dumpy kid like the Boy Scout from the movie UP. Instead of taking an adventure with an old man to South America, you find yourself in the middle of a civil war between feuding groups of giant robots on a planet far, far away. Yes, there’s not really a merit badge to cover something like this.
There are, however, gems that you can throw against most surfaces that repel objects away from it in a straight line. To reach higher areas, just toss one on the ground. If you’re looking to cross that gap, throw one against the wall and float across. You can only toss out two gems at a time with every third toss disabling the first one you left behind. And that’s really the genius of the game: simple mechanics allowing for complex design.
Few games understand color quite like Pid. The game takes a simple approach that’s both beautiful and functional in its aesthetics. From the rocky terrain to the color of the enemy, each one indicates what will or can be affected by your gems. While a simple blue robot may roll through your gem’s effects with easy, that red rocket heading your way will veer upwards once it hits the influence of the gem.
Not all of the stages allow you time to plan out your moves. After moving through one exit, I found myself running from rooftop to rooftop as robots dropped bombs or shoot out rockets. Other times I found myself having to make quick last-second calculations as I tried to move myself over and under a field of spikes.
As you move through this metal Wonderland, you’ll collect stars which can be used to buy items in the game such as a protective vest that can take one extra hit. The developers even hinted at particular items that will task even the most harden OCD gamers.
Coming in at around 8-10 hours, I merely scratched the surface of the game having not faced one of their massive bosses or tried out the co-op mode that allows you and a friend to control only one gem apiece. If there was ever a way to test the strength of any relationship, Pid might have just created the gold standard.
Both beautiful and harkening back to the days of the NES, Pid is a downloadable game that proves that you don’t need super powers just to be a hero. Expect it to reach Xbox Live Arcade later this year.