Weird Video Game of the Week: Cid the Dummy

Buy Cid the Dummy for $2 on Steam (PC and Mac)

The concept of a video game centering around the adventures of a crash test dummy doesn’t seem like a bad idea. There are so many possibilities that the game and character could go in but in Cid the Dummy, the hero is on a mission to save his creator/boss’ daughter who has been kidnapped by a rival. Not the most original story but really, how many of those do you see these days anyway? The problem with Cid the Dummy is that it’s not fun in anyway. Not only is the game boring but it’s frustrating—and not in a challenging way. Cid evokes anger because the player must make sense out of bad storytelling and unintuitive controls.




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The visuals aren’t the worst but have an novice feel to them. This is even more pronounced during movie scenes where a really badass still with a tight voiceover would’ve worked better than lackluster animation. Of course graphics aren't everything but when everything else is below par, it can't even be said "well, at least it's pretty."

Lack of beauty aside, controlling Cid is a chore. The keyboard layout is somewhat traditional with the typical WASD keyboard keys used for movement. Instead of the space bar being used for jumping-—like what most gamers are used to, the V key activates jumps making it a two-handed operation to leap in any direction. Interacting with objects requires the B key making gameplay even more uncomfortable. Mix in camera angles that make seeing enemies nearly impossible and the result is a game that will wear the player down halfway through a level. 

For absolute beginners, Cid offers a confusing tutorial that’s supposed to teach newcomers basic movement, features and attacks. Playing through it proved more difficult than blindly jumping into the actual game itself . On one of the practice levels, the player is tasked with obtaining an orb located on one side of a room. To get it, Cid must grab a pole and make his way to the orb. Unfortunately, there is nothing to indicate where the pole is. Mission aborted.

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Cid the Dummy opens with an animation of a character who looks like a remixed Dr. Eggman from Sonic the Hedgehog. Not-Dr.-Eggman mumbles about someone doing him dirty and then orders a bunch of crash test dummies to go on a mission. Suddenly there’s some sort of base with robots and other crash test dummies acting wacky. The scene continues to play on without any sense of purpose until Cid is at the beginning of the first level. It’s truly, truly bizarre.


It’s tough to say which audience Cid the Dummy would be best suited for. As a puzzler, it’s too confusing with no reward. As a platformer, the controls fail miserably. The best thing about the title is the name and cheap price of id="mce_marker".50. Not to beat up on Cid too much, It’s rough out there for indie developers.Then again,Cid is a crash test dummy; he’s used to abuse.

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