Aqueduct takes a common gaming concept, in this case pipe connecting, and adds a layer of thoughtful design that forces you to approach it from a new angle. It doesn’t set out to reinvent the wheel, but instead focuses on making some slight improvements. Aqueduct is a thoughtful puzzler that keeps things simple and interesting.
The core mechanic of Aqueduct involves sliding pipe tiles around so the two ends connect. The challenge comes with the introduction of new elements like walls, narrow pathways, portals, movable bridges, and switches. The 140 levels are cleverly designed to make the most of the parts in play.
This isn’t to say Aqueduct doesn’t have some dud levels, like the occasional portal-based puzzle. These levels are full of portal pairs that link to one another with no markers to indicate the connections, leaving you randomly porting tiles around the level until you reach the goal. Some hint like color-coding the portals would go a long way here. However, these levels are few and far between.
The masterful level design in Aqueduct helps make this bare-bones concept feel like a full game. It may not be flashy, but it sure is fun.