DS

North America

Pipe Mania

by Nick DiMola - November 6, 2008, 8:13 am PST
Total comments: 1

7

The sequel/remake of the PC classic stands the test of time.

There is no shortage of puzzle games on the DS. Since the initial launch of the system there have been countless puzzle titles, satisfying every niche customer of the genre. One of the latest entrants, Pipe Mania, does its part in further expanding the puzzle category.

Pipe Mania has players simply completing a gap in a pipe between an entrance and an exit by placing pipe pieces on the board, thus directing the flooze and avoiding spillage. There are a few variations on this basic premise, which has remained intact from the PC original.

Players are given a block of time before the flooze starts flowing to build the piping structure. Initially, the time proves more than adequate to place the required number of pipe pieces to finish the structure, but as you progress through the game the allotted time will seem far too short to complete the massive structure required. Like other grid games, such as Tetris, the piece provider is random; thus every time a level is played, a new strategy must be built.

Unlike many other puzzle games which reward the most efficient, shortest path to a solution, Pipe Mania encourages players to build the most extravagant pipe flow and take advantage of every open grid on the board. More pieces ultimately equal a higher score, which in turn means a higher ranking (Bronze, Silver, and Gold). However, players must also learn to manage point loss in order to maximize score. Point loss is inevitable in every level of the game. Players will not be able to use every piece and must destroy unused pieces by placing a new piece on top of the old one, at a point cost of course. Any pipe pieces left on the grid without flooze flowing through it will cost players far more than simply destroying the pieces.

Players are presented with the original quest from the PC version as well as a new one, along with some other simple puzzles that involve completing a structure as quickly as possible to achieve the highest score. The basic mechanics of the game prove to be interesting and fun, with the ranking structure really working in the game's favor. Completing a level is never enough for the hardcore puzzler. With a ranking system, replaying each level is encouraged to achieve the highest score and ranking possible.

Both the music and graphical presentation of Pipe Mania are basic, complementing the overall simple style of the game. Each world provides players with a new musical track and look, but both vary only slightly from the preceding level.

Pipe Mania is a great pick-up-and-play title that anyone can enjoy, especially with the smooth touch screen implementation the DS version brings to the table. The game is best enjoyed in short bursts due to its very basic gameplay, making it perfect for work commutes or breaks throughout the day.

Score

Graphics Sound Control Gameplay Lastability Final
5 5 10 8 8 7
Graphics
5

The game employs the most simple of graphics to depict the on-screen action. Given the simplicity of the title, some visual flair would've been greatly appreciated.

Sound
5

All of the game's tracks are simple and similar, adding nothing more than background noise. The sound effects are also basic and don't do much more than provide audio cues alerting the player of the status of the flooze.

Control
10

Whether you are using the D-Pad controls or the touch screen controls, problems never arise. Naturally the touch control provides for a quicker, smoother experience, but in either case the game is responsive and intuitive.

Gameplay
8

In short sessions, the game is perfect. Whether you are completing new levels or working towards a new high score, short experiences are always enjoyable. Due to the game's simplicity, long play sessions become tedious.

Lastability
8

Essentially, Pipe Mania will last as long as you want it to. With a couple of puzzle modes, a couple of quests, and the ability to earn medals/high scores, there is plenty to do. It will last for quite a while if you play the game in the intended fashion.

Final
7

Pipe Mania was made for quick session gaming. If players intend on experiencing the game in that manner, there is plenty to enjoy and appreciate. Puzzle fans who have never experienced the series before should not hesitate to purchase, but those who have had their fill of the PC original will likely want to avoid this latest installment as little has changed.

Summary

Pros
  • Pick-up-and-play accessibility
  • Simple, but fun
Cons
  • Long play sessions become tedious
Review Page 2: Conclusion

Talkback

You know what I want to hear about Nick?

I want... to hear about... the epic story... the set up... the drama... behind Pipe Mania.

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Genre Puzzle
Developer Empire Interactive
Players1 - 2

Worldwide Releases

na: Pipe Mania
Release Sep 30, 2008
PublisherEmpire Interactive
RatingEveryone

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