Review: Pipe Mania / Pipe Dream

Pipe Mania / Pipe Dream

ST Format Review

My Review
For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STFM, running TOS 1.04. On this occasion I’ve chosen Fuzion disk 6. The intro music is good enough, the scrolly text does what you’d expect, but it’s clear that they can’t draw people. It’s an abomination.

So, Pipe Mania. It had a somewhat troubled development, being hawked around a number of different publishers, and there was some confusion around naming and branding, but it’s still a classic.

The intro screen is simple enough and features some pleasant sampled music. The game has much in common with Tetris in that it tasks you with fitting randomly supplied pieces into a whole. The difference here is that you’re dealing with pieces of pipe, which must be placed to direct water around the screen.

You start with an empty board and pieces slide down the left hand column, until time runs out. Your mission is simply to stop water getting out of the end of the pipe, so you must keep extending the pipe until time runs out. The pressure (get it?) builds up as the water gets closer to the end, with the music speeding up and the key rising, until you crack. The sound design is perfect and the graphics, while not outstanding, do their job just fine, maintaining clarity which is what matters most in a puzzle game.

This game is a quick and easy one to review but it’s still a game that works today – it’s perfect for a quick pick-up session, and it will get your blood pressure up. You should totally play it. In my opinion ST Format got is wrong when they gave this such a poor score, perhaps because they didn’t quite know how to review games of this type just yet – there was still something of a graphical arms race and so a game with graphics that were really nothing special was never going to score highly, which is a shame as it’s a proper classic. This is a game which holds up brilliantly today and would likely work well on a phone or something like the Switch.

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