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Pipe Mania Impressions

September 29, 2008

Pipe Mania for the PsP is a remake of the original 1989 classic that most people my age and older have played at some point in their lives. Empire Interactive will be remaking this classic title for the PC, PS2, Wii, DS and PSP.

Story

It is pipe mania, the gameplay is the story, however there is a story element that is only briefly shown in the demo, explained more in the video.
Gameplay

Pipe Mania has you creating a pipe line from a open pipe about to explode with goo, to another pipe so the surrounding area is safe. The goal during a level is to meet the minimum requirement of pipe to make it from the open pipe to the finish pipe. The game will award points based on the number of pipes that connect from one end to another, so instead of making the quickest route, it is better to make it as long as possible. During gameplay a line of pipes will appear on the side to show you the type of pipe you will be using next. The problem with the core gameplay is that, wait for it, you CAN’T rotate the pipes. This may not seem like a big problem for some, but whenever you destroy a pipe to use another one instead, or lay it off the track, you loose points. There will be times that you are just destroying pipe after pipe after pipe trying to get to one that suites your needs. This can waste a massive amount of time and points that just really detracts from the game. There is also a battle aspect to the game, but the core issues with the lack of rotating makes it less fun than normal levels. I am also aware that this is also a big part of the strategy of the game, however I’d much prefer the simple mechanic of rotating pieces.
Graphics/Audio

It is a simple 2D game with simple graphics. They work well for the style of game and the audio is also decent. Overall nothing too special.

Conclusion:

Pipe Mania seems like a waste of a game to me. You can Google Pipe Mania and find half a thousand free flash knock offs that has the same gameplay, but you can rotate! There is nothing really new here outside of a nice look that warrants buying it instead of playing a free flash version.

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