Pid is a good old-fashioned 2D side-scrolling platform game, with charming hand-drawn animated graphics and a style that reminds me very much of the old classic Manic Miner (yes, I am that old). However, it also throws in some more modern elements too, with an outer space setting and a special ‘gravity beam’ tool that can help you get past some of the trickier obstacles in your way.
There’s a plot of sorts, as you play the part of Kurt, a young lad who is accidentally stranded on a strange planet populated by rather eccentric robots. You task is to find your way to a space-bus on the other side of the planet so that you can get home again. And, of course, in order to reach the space-bus you have to navigate dozens of screens full of moving platforms, security robots and other hazards.
It’s a simple formula, but like all good platform games Pid manages to strike an addictive balance with puzzles that are tough enough to be challenging but not so frustrating that you give up without completing the game. Sometimes you have to move quickly to run and jump past moving obstacles, and at other times you have to sneak around slowly, avoiding security robots and waiting for the right moment to make your move.
The gravity beam system also works well. A well-placed beam can lift you up and over an obstacle, but the beams only last for a few seconds so you still have to get your timing just right. And as you progress through each level you can collect bonus points and power-ups that provide extra abilities, such as the burst-beam that catapults you across the screen at high speed. There’s also an offline two-player mode that allows you to cooperate with a friend, helping each other with twin gravity beams.
Pid’s old-school platform action has a lot of charm and will appeal to older players who remember classics like Manic Miner. However, it’ll also be good fun for younger players who will enjoy guiding Kurt past the Heath-Robinson robots that populate this strange world.