What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Pipe Trouble is a politically motivated remake of the 1990s arcade hit Pipe Dream. Players must run a pipeline between two points, but the app adds a very heavy political agenda to the gameplay, as the company laying the pipe is a Big Oil and Gas distributor that, inevitably, must go through farmland, around houses, or through forests, upsetting the residents. Although the game describes itself as "over-the-top satire," a more fitting definition would be propaganda.
What kids can learn
What Kids Can Learn
Pipe Trouble wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.
What's it about?
Players attempt to connect two areas of pipeline in a short time period before gas begins flowing. Pipe pieces are offered at the top of the screen, and players must select the right ones -- horizontal, angled, or vertical -- to reach from Point A to Point B. At the same time, players must try to keep from further angering locals, who are upset at the impact on their land and block building by protests or blowing up the pipes. Pipes laid too close to pastures or people bring about environmental penalties.
Is it any good?
Whether PIPE DREAM is a good game may well depend on your political beliefs. The game is very much a propaganda tool about the dangers of natural gas mining, and it's very anti-business. That could be enough of a distraction to permanently annoy some players.
The heavy political message is frustrating, since the game is built off the framework of the '90s arcade hit Pipe Dream, which is a challenging, fun puzzle game. That fun is overshadowed this time around, though.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about propaganda. How can you identify it?
Families also can talk about the importance of understanding facts when someone is trying to sway your opinion.