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Review: Pipe Mania

August 14, 2009



Pipe Mania is the classic game of creating a sewer pipe line guiding the sewage liquid (flooze) from one end to the other. The flow begins at a predetermined time after the level begins allowing you to construct part of the path. The pipe pieces are randomly given with the next five pieces shown in bar on the left hand side. Pipe pieces come in seven types: vertical, horizontal, cross section, and four curve pieces with a curve in all four quadrants. Pipe_worlds Each level requires a certain number of pipe pieces that the flow has to pass through to beat the level. In Pipe Mania every level has a start and end piece that you have to connect. In later levels the flow moves faster, the start time is shorter, and new types of pipe pieces are introduced. Included is a brief story detailing why you’re building pipes across varying locations.


There are four gameplay modes: world, arcade, bonus, and classic. World is the heart of the game where you have to travel across seven areas in the Isle of Ducts, with each area having eight levels. In world mode the challenges change as you progress beginning with building regular pipe sequences to building railroad track, and conveyor belt paths. Also at the end of each area is a boss battle where part of your path will be damaged occasionally from boss attacks. img_0668 In arcade mode the screen moves, and you have to keep the flooze flowing inside the grid or you lose. Bonus mode has quick puzzles that give you a grid, and you have to fill in the missing pieces or spin pieces already in the grid. Finally classic mode provides the original pipe mania levels to play on your iPhone. Also included in the game are achievements that come in the form of treasure chests that you unlock as you progress in world mode. In certain levels treasure chests pop up, and they unlock the other game modes and other features in the game including new characters to play as, and new soundtracks.

The Good

The classic Pipe Mania gameplay finally makes it to the iPhone, and it’s great. The pipe building puzzle is tons of fun, and Pipe Mania has added new elements to make it even more enjoyable. Pipe_factory Most pipe games currently in the App Store fill the entire playfield with titles that you flip over and rearrange to make it to the end. Pipe Mania has the classic gameplay where you build your pipe sequence from random pieces given in a queue, which is much more fun. Tapping to add pieces is easy, and figuring out the proper path in this game really requires some thinking, which is always nice. The sounds are well done too. There are a few different unique upbeat soundtracks. Also the sound effects are nice from the exploding of pieces to the flowing of flooze. Pipe_railroad The visuals are great with nicely designed play areas, and seven unique types of piping systems. The animations are top notch as well, exemplified by the jiggling of the tiles when you explode one piece and add another. Also as the flooze is flowing the points are indicated, and stars burst out. There is so much to do that you will spend a bunch of time with this title. The world mode itself has over fifty levels to play, with seven different types of systems to connect. Then there are three other gameplay modes including the classic pipe mania levels. The game saves your overall progress, but not in level progress which doesn’t really matter since the levels are so short.

The Bad

There are no online high scores, which would be a nice addition to a puzzle game, and help set it apart. Especially since this game is so much score based. Actual achievements would be nice too, rather than random treasure chest pick-ups. Pipe_score One major problem is that there’s just something holding it back from being as addictive and hectic as the Windows ’95 Pipe Dream. With the nice adding piece animations it slows down your ability to add pieces really quickly. In Pipe Dream you can go through pieces really quickly allowing you to build very long paths very easily. It’s more of a hassle in Pipe Mania to get through a bunch of pieces, so most levels you will only try to reach the base requirement. Also you have to be quite precise with your tapping or a piece may go in a spot you didn’t want it to. Every level has an end point to reach rather than just building as long of a pipe sequence as you can; which is more fun in my opinion.

The Verdict

Pipe Mania is the best pipe building game in the App Store by far and away. It is a good game by simply maintaining the original gameplay. Some style has been added as well spicing up the animations and music. There is a lot to do with the four included gameplay modes. A few things are lacking, and it’s not quite as fun as other incarnations in the past. It’s a solid game that is worth the price of admission, and a should buy. [gallery link="file" columns="4"]

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