Pipe Mania

Rating: 4+

Pipe Mania is a game from Virtual Programming Ltd, originally released 8th July, 2009


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Pipe Mania Review

We’ve all dreamed of the day our favorite Italian plumber will make his way to the App Store. That day will assuredly never come, so we’ll have to make do with what we’ve got, and right now, we’ve got a pretty damn good puzzle game that puts you in overalls, tasked with the charge of guiding some “flooze” through a bunch of pipes.

Flooze can be a variety of things, including green goo, electricity, and even a locomotive. No matter the substance, the goal is always the same: guide the flooze from the beginning pipe to the end pipe before it can spill out and make a mess.

At the beginning of the game, you’ll have an open, unobstructed path to build your pipeline. It sounds like this would be easy, but it’s not. The pipe pieces you receive are selected at random, so you’ll have to plan your route in advance. If you end up getting three right turn pieces in a row, you’ll have to try and predict where you’ll need a right turn later, or you’ll end up just trashing the piece and losing points.

Oh, gross.

The flooze generally doesn’t start flowing for 30-45 seconds after the level starts, giving you some time to get the first few pieces of your pipeline in place. After that, it’s a race against time as you try to build pipes faster than the flooze flows. Sometimes, as is the case with electricity flooze, this can be nearly impossible due to the speed at which it fills the pipeline. In these cases, special pieces can be placed in the pipe to temporarily slow things down, giving you a little extra time to build.

The controls work well most of the time. All you really need to do is touch the spot you’d like to lay the pipe down. When you get a special random pipe, it will quickly cycle through all the possible pieces, and you’ll need to press the screen at the exact moment the one you want appears. The problem is, it’s difficult to see the piece when your thumb is hovering over the screen, blocking your view.

There are at least 56 levels in World mode, spread across 7 different themed areas. The difficulty gradually increases, and you won’t need to beat every level to advance. A treasure room will help you unlock new modes and challenges, ensuring a lot of game here to keep you busy.

If you’re into these types of puzzle games, you can’t go wrong with Pipe Mania. It can be a little frustrating sometimes when it seems like you aren’t getting any of the pieces you need to complete the level, but since most levels are won or lost in less than two minutes, it’s not as frustrating as it could be. This plumber can’t jump, but he’ll do just fine.