Most of us have played a pipe game before, whether it’s an old computer game or an iPhone one like Pipe Mania. PipeRush is another entry in the field, but it brings with it a level of polish not often seen in the genre. In PipeRush, you’re tasked with providing water to all of the buildings scattered around in each puzzle. Some pipes are already placed in the levels, and you need to connect them to the buildings using the random pieces that spit out of a pipe-making machine at the bottom of the screen.
It’s this machine that provides the impetus to lay the pipes quickly. At a regular pace, it spits out pipe pieces onto a conveyor belt. If the belt gets too crowded and the machine starts backing up, the whole contraption explodes, meaning game over.
To prevent such a catastrophe, you can either lay the pipe pieces down or feed them back into the machine to be recycled. Recycling is a godsend in this game, since the pipe pieces come in many different shapes, and most of them are difficult to use. But the machine can only recycle a piece every so often, so laying pipe is your first priority (must resist inappropriate joke).
Help these people: they’re thirsty and unbathed.
But speed isn’t your only worry in PipeRush. As you progress, you’ll run into nastier hindrances, like earthquakes that destroy pieces you’ve already placed, aliens that relocate pieces, and clouds that cover your conveyor belt. Take it from us: it gets hectic. And in later levels, when the machine creates pipe pieces more quickly, it can become downright pull-your-hair-out frustrating.
To temper the difficulty, you can use some limited special powers. One is the ability to erase unwanted pipe pieces that are already in play. The other tries to predict what piece you need and drops it into place. These powers help, but seeing a third of the intricate piping you’ve put down destroyed in an earthquake never feels anything less than unfair.
Despite all that, we had a grand old time with PipeRush. Its controls are dead on, and its 15 long levels take several hours to complete. The graphics look fantastic, too. If you like fast-moving puzzle games, PipeRush is a sure bet.