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A glimmer of hope for a played out genre?

If you’re feeling a little burned out from the deluge of indie puzzle platformers with unique art styles, you are not alone.  Pid, which is just this sort of game, makes a good argument for you to make an exception: it’s being developed by the same team that created Bionic Commando: Rearmed.  Although Bionic Commando: Rearmed was a remake of a perfectly crafted classic game, the development team that now makes up Might and Delight perfectly nailed the recreation of the original’s faultless controls and physics.  Add a completely new game concept and art style to that proven record of gamepad artistry, and you’ve got a downloadable title that should be worth your time.

Pid’s back story centers on a young boy, Kurt, who finds himself stranded on a strange planet and trying to find his way back home.  The slightly obscured, yet colorful style of the game is a pretty fresh look among recent puzzle platformers – eschewing moody black and white or similar tropes.  The world of Pid also has its share of robots wandering around that appear to be either out to get Kurt, or completely indifferent to him – displaying a muted sense of humor that colors the experience. 

Before they even started to tinker with the aesthetics, Might and Delight reportedly worked for a full year to perfect the game’s controls and physics.  The team made use of the Unity game engine to take their vision from storyboard to the monitor.

Although Pid was first announced last December, E3 seemed the perfect place for Might and Delight to issue some new details concerning gameplay.  The first teaser trailer showed that Kurt carries two light gems that allow him to create gravity-defying light wells (similar to the gravity wells in Portal 2) to lift himself up to higher ledges and levitate above spikes.  The latest trailer (shown below) shows that even the simplest of puzzles can have countless solutions using the light gems and other tools.  Those additional tools will be acquired as Kurt continues on his adventure and hopefully make traversing the levels even more open to various solutions.  We’ve now seen that one of these supplements is the ability to toss bombs at some of Kurt’s impediments, but many others are still yet to be revealed.

Another interesting wrinkle is that the entire set of game mechanics gets turned on its head during two-player co-op.  In the single-player portion of the game, Kurt can carry two of the gems that allow him to manipulate gravity.  Playing a co-op game gives each player one gem, so working together will be necessary unless you plan to grief your partner – a completely viable approach to some.

The excitement of E3 couldn’t squeeze a solid release date out of the developer, who won’t say much more other than that the game is “coming to digital platforms 2012.” Pid will be available on XBLA, PSN, and the PC.  Here’s hoping that perfection comes quickly and we can start throwing light gems as soon as possible.

 


 

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