Week in Arcade: Pid, Pool Nation

Double P titles this week, coming up with a total of $20 for the pair.


Puzzle-minded platformer with a minimalist approach that can often feel a little “me too” in its style. Barren underground worlds, mild music, and a kids as a protagonist is a familiar set-up for this genre. Pid does enough right to ignore all of that though, with light beam gravity mechanics that dictate level progression. Players use a bunch of tools, but none are more critical than the gravity beam which can applied to walls (two at a time) to reach almost any location. It works well with only a little practice, and the charming art style – despite initial misgivings – will catch on.

Pool Nation

Absolutely brilliant endurance mode saves what at times comes across as an overly flashy pool title. The XBLA is no stranger to pool, and while some heavy AI dims this one (even in the early going), the endurance mode makes up for other qualms. Balls are continually added to the table until it reaches 24 balls. Players need to keep the table clear and knock as many balls in before that number is reached. It’s panicky with little time to fine tune. That does reveal an often finicky control scheme with the stick, but not enough to dampen the feel and the fun.