Pipe Mania - Review

Pipe Mania
Ages: Everyone

This is a modern remake of a game which first appeared on the Amiga about 10 years ago. You get a random selection of pipe sections (straight, curved, crossings, etc) to lay down from the inlet to the outlet on a grid of squares before the green goop (called Flooz) starts flowing. If the pipe path is not finished when the Flooz hits a gap, it will flow out. If too much flows out before you can close the gaps and connect to the outlet, the level ends with failure. To succeed on a level you also have to use at least the specified minimum number of pipe segments for that level - your score is better the more segments you use.

The game has four modes, but you cannot play the other modes (Arcade, Bonus or Classic) until you prove yourself on the first (World) mode. As you progress from level to level the amount of time you have to lay down pipe before the Flooz starts flowing decreases. The obstacles and constraints also increase with each level, such as having to route around fixed obstacles, or having to incorporate pre-existing fixed pipe segments into the path.

There is a column of segments shown, which, like in Tetris, lets you know what is coming next, but if you redo (or fail) a level the available segments are randomly different, so you cannot 'learn' a level. Once you place a pipe segment you cannot move it, though you can destroy it (which costs you points) by placing another segment over it. Sections cannot be rotated (unlike the original version) so you may just have to wait for a piece with the orientation you need to appear. Unused segments at the end of a level also subtract from your point score; bonus points are awarded for using certain segments or for creating loops.

The game is pretty much the same on all the platforms we tried - it was a bit easier to see what was happening on a larger PC or PS2 screen. It plays nicely on the handhelds.

Fun Factor: You gotta be quick - playing strategies develop over time
Player Friendly: The printed manual explains the various types of Flooz and the different pipe pieces.

Reviewed by: Lou - 11/08

  • Pipe Mania
  • Developer: Razorworks
  • © Empire Interactive $19.99
  • Platform(s): WVISTA XP GBDS PS2 PSP
  • To Order: GBDS http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99
  • To Order: PS2 http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99
  • To Order: PSP http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99
  • To Order: Win http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99
  • Game Site: http://www.empireinteractive.com/