Pipe Mania review

  • 56 stages
  • New twists
  • Addictive as ever
  • Aging, tired gameplay
  • Ridiculously bad value
  • Levels go by fast

When Pipe Mania was released in 1989 it was an original and addictive puzzler. The game involved building a pipeline to carry gooey ‘flooze’ to a drain without spilling it out over the play area. If you’ve played BioShock you’ll recognise it as the hacking minigame. And you may also have chanced upon various free Java-based versions on the internet. Nearly 20 years on from the original release and Empire has decided it’s time for an official remix. So, is it worth it?

The 56 stages are divided into seven themed zones including sewers, the internet and railroads. New plumbing problems posed include valves that speed up the flooze; rubber ducks, rocks and flames that are impassable; and fists that come randomly smashing down on your carefully laid out pipeline forcing you to make hurried repairs. You’ll also find one-way pipes and treasure pipes that award bonuses if you can pump your flooze through them.

These are reasonable twists that liven up what is aging, tired gameplay. The trouble is, it’s just ridiculously bad value for the money. For what is essentially three to four hours of entertainment you’d expect to download something like this onto iPhone or some other handheld digital receptacle for no more than a few bucks. While Pipe Mania is a pretty good remake, shelling out considerable cash when you can play perfectly good Java-based versions for nothing online is simply money down the drain.

Oct 3, 2008

More Info

Release date: Sep 30 2008 - PS2, PC, PSP, DS (US)
Sep 26 2008 - PS2, PSP, DS (UK)
Available Platforms: PS2, PC, PSP, DS
Genre: Puzzle
Published by: Empire Interactive, Atari
Developed by: Empire Interactive, Atari
ESRB Rating:
Everyone: Comic Mischief


  • pyroxian - October 9, 2008 10:55 p.m.

    I agree with the above poster - this seems to be a very lazy review. The game has over 300 levels (including all the classic NES levels), and also has several offline multiplayer modes. Strange that this version only gets 5/10 as opposed to the 8/10 that the DS and PSP versions get - despite it being exactly the same game and slightly cheaper on the PC. Yes, there are Flash/Java Pipe-mania clones on the web, but they are nowhere near as polished or balanced as this one.
  • cit - October 9, 2008 1:16 p.m.

    Disagree with some of the things that are said it has over 300 levels which I guarantee is enough to keep you busy for more than 3 or 4 hours, I do think that it would be amazing if there was a competition element on line, they touched on it with their flash version on the website in the play demo section, great website by the way, definately better on PSP or DS.

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