Original box art
|Developer(s)||The Assembly Line|
|Publisher(s)||Lucasfilm Games (NA)
Empire Interactive (EU)
Video System (Arcade)
|Designer(s)||Akila Redmer, Stephan L. Butler|
|Release||June 1989 (Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS)
1990 (Electron, Arcade, CPC, Apple II, BBC, C64, GB, Mac, NES, ZX)
August 7, 1992 (Super Famicom)
Pipe Mania is a puzzle game developed in 1989 by The Assembly Line for the Amiga. It was ported to several other platforms by Lucasfilm Games, who gave it the name Pipe Dream and acted as general distributors for the US. In this game, the player must connect randomly appearing pieces of pipe on a grid to a given length within a limited time.
The Windows version of the game was included in the MS Windows Entertainment Pack. In 1990, it was released as an arcade game by Japanese manufacturer Video System Co. Ltd., though with slightly altered gameplay, giving the player the task to connect a source and drain with the random pipe pieces.
Long after its initial release, the Pipe Mania concept re-emerged as a minigame representing hacking or security system bypassing in larger video games.
Using a variety of pipe pieces presented randomly in a queue, the player must construct a path from the start piece for the onrushing sewer slime, or "flooz" (the 1991 Windows version's help files refer to it as "goo"), which begins flowing after a time delay from the start of the round. Pieces may not be rotated; they must be placed as presented in the queue. The player can replace a previously laid piece by clicking on it, as long as the flooz has not yet reached it; however, doing so causes a short time delay before the next piece can be laid. The flooz is required to pass through a given number of pipe pieces in order for the player to continue to the next round. Some rounds also include an end piece, which must be the end of the pipeline the player has constructed, in addition to fulfilling the minimum pipe length requirement.
Completing the sewer pipeline in the time allotted allows the player to advance to the next level, which means a shorter interval from the start of the round until the flooz starts flowing, as well as faster-flowing flooz. On higher levels, some special pipe pieces appear in the game, such as reservoirs, one-way sections, and bonus sections. Obstacles and wrap-around sections also appear on the game board on higher levels.
If a player is able to finish the level using five cross-section pieces and filling them both ways, 5,000 bonus points are awarded. Bonus rounds present the player with a grid full of pipe pieces and one open space; the goal is to slide the pieces around and make the longest possible path for the flooz.
A version with 3D graphics was released for the PlayStation in 2000, titled Pipe Dreams 3D in the US and Pipe Mania 3D in the UK. Many clones of Pipe Mania have been produced, under titles such as Wallpipe, Oilcap, Oilcap Pro, MacPipes, Pipe Master, Pipeworks, DragonSnot, PipeNightDreams, and Fun2Link. A macabre interpretation called Troubled Souls was released for the Macintosh in 1994. There is also an open source clone named Vodovod available for both the Windows and Linux operating systems. Many Nokia cell phones come with a free version of the game called Canal Control.
The game was ported to the iPhone by software publishers Virtual Programming and Robosoft, and released as an application in July 2009.
In other games
Within Alien Swarm, there is a simplified version of Pipe Mania akin to the one in BioShock. Saints Row IV and Warframe use variants of the game to represent hacking and overriding security, respectively.
Within North Korean game called Railway Assemblage (Chosongul:렬차길 맞추기 Hanja:列車길 맞추기) sponsored by North Korean propaganda regime Uriminzokkiri (Chosongul:우리민족끼리) and released on December 9th 2006, there is a simplified version of Pipe Mania. The game consists in joining together sections of railway in order to build as fast as possible a railroad track which constitute a path from South Korea to North Korea, before the KTX-shaped train appears on the screen.
Within Puzzle Agent, there is a puzzle where Nelson Tethers, the protagonist, must repair a chimney flue using a similar style of gameplay to pipe mania.
The game was reviewed in 1994 in Dragon #211 by Jay & Dee in the "Eye of the Monitor" column. Jay did not rate the game, but Dee gave the Macintosh version of the game 2½ out of 5 stars, and the Windows version 4½ stars.
- "Empire Interactive announces Pipe Mania for PC and Consoles" (PDF). Empire Interactive. 2008-03-10.
- "Pipe Mania 2008 remake website". Empire Interactive. 2008-09-03.
- Qualls, Eric. "BioShock Review (X360) at Xbox.about.com". About.com. Retrieved 2007-11-04.
- Jay & Dee (November 1994). "Eye of the Monitor". Dragon (211): 39–42.