Pipeline (video game)
|Developer(s)||Ian Holmes and William Reeve|
Pipeline is a video game for the BBC Micro and Acorn Electron, originally published by Superior Software in 1988. It is an overhead view action role-playing game set on a mining platform. The game was very well received by the gaming press. It was more recently remade for Microsoft Windows as Pipeline Plus.
The game is a fast four-way scrolling arcade adventure with a look similar to previous Superior hits Repton and Ravenskull, but with a higher frame rate. It is set on a mining platform above Io, the sulfur-rich moon of Jupiter.
Pipeline was bundled with graphics and level design programs, allowing players to design their own game scenarios incorporating keys and doors, patrolling guards, explosions, throwable objects, moving walls, transport puzzles in the style of Sokoban, pipes, teleports and other simple kinds of puzzle logic.
The original game concept, strongly influenced by the earlier game Ravenskull, was of an action RPG. By collecting treasure and completing quests, the player would progress through medieval guilds in a fantasy setting: the working title was GuildMaster.
A change in direction was suggested by Richard Hanson (managing director and co-founder of Superior Software). Instead of a medieval city, the game took place on a contemporary oil platform with a red-headed protagonist nicknamed Red O'Hare collecting oil drums and putting out fires (a reference to Red Adair). This plotline was, however, quickly transplanted to a science-fictional setting, following the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988.
The name Pipeline arose from the gameplay element of fast transport to distant parts of the map through topologically interwoven pipes (novel to the BBC Micro at the time, but see Super Mario Bros. or Sonic the Hedgehog for well-known examples).
The game was first released in 1988 by Superior Software/Acornsoft. It was included on the Play It Again Sam 11 compilation in 1989. It was also re-released in 1991 as part of the Superior/Blue Ribbon budget range. Although the inlay made no mention of the game editing programs, they were included on the cassette.
- "Io, Io, It's Off To Work We Go", Jon Revis, Electron User, #5.12, September 1988