Pipe Trouble

Common Sense Media says

Adaptation of classic arcade game gets overly political.






What parents need to know

Ease of play

The trick to the game isn't laying out the pipe from Point A to Point B; it's doing so without disturbing as many people, animals, and trees/crops as possible. 


Some environmentalists, when sufficiently angry, will blow up sections of your pipeline. Additionally, some people get sick if there's a gas spill. 

Not applicable

"Gol'durned" is used in substitution of the more, similar-sounding offensive slogan. 

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

There are no apparent privacy concerns, but the app's privacy policy is not readily available.

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 kids can learn

Pipe Trouble wasn't created with educational intent, and we don't recommend it for learning.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chris Morris

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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.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Pricing structure:Paid
Release date:February 27, 2013
Category:Strategy Games
Size:30.60 MB
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Pipe Trouble was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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