I first encountered interest in pipe related games about 13 years ago playing Pipe Dream on my parent’s computer. At the time however, I was more interested in playing Chip’s Challenge, but the memory of Pipe gameplay had been stored into my memories. Jump forward to high school where the only thing to keep me from jumping through a window in boredom was another pipe game on my cell phone. It was fun and passed the time but it had no pizzaz.
Finally, Empire Interactive has made the best of the best when it comes to laying pipes. Pipe Mania for the DS is the most fun I’ve ever had trying prevent slime from leaking onto the floor. Empire went all out (as far out as you can go for a pipe game at least), to make a challenging, yet entertaining (it has a story mode believe it or not) game of plumbing. The game breaks free of strictly connecting pipes, and challenges you to connect factory assembly lines, internet cords, electricity cabling, and train tracks. While they all follow the same basic rules of laying and connecting pieces, each category has special requirements needed to fully connect start piece to end piece. The factory requires splitting assemblies into multiple lines, the electricity can be temporarily stored in special glass pieces etc. If this isn’t your thing, the game comes with a Classic Mode where you can lay pipe till your head explodes with frustration. I say this as a good thing however because the other pipe games I’ve played have been incredibly easy to beat. Pipe Mania starts off easy enough, but once you beat the first few levels, it really challenges you; not to the point of throwing your DS across the room (I’m lookin at you SMB 3!) but enough that you sometimes have to play one level a few times to really plan out what you need to do to get things done.
That being said, I also want to add that the DS is probably the best kind of platform for this kind of game. No more messing up pipelines by pushing the wrong button or having a crappy mouse that clicks the wrong place. With the touchscreen you just touch right where the piece goes and you’re good to move on. This is a good play before bed type games, or just to play to pass the time. Its worth the buy if you’re into games like these, and has tons of replay value and a surpising number of levels and mini games.
Rating: 3 Pipes Out of 2.2 Lighthouses