What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this puzzle game is suitable for all ages. The ERSB rating of "comic mischief" relates to cartoon characters who pop in and out to do damage to the pipes you are laying, which you then have to repair. This is a logic game requiring quick, strategic thinking.
What's it about?
Alfonso Senior is plumber extraordinaire and has retired to
an island paradise with his children, Junior and Fawcett. But this paradise, the Isle of Ducts,
is being sabotaged by the Cowboy plumber, Buffalo Bonzo. Playing as either Junior or Fawcett, you have
to take over the family business and stop Buffalo Bonzo from ruining the island. but before Daddy will let you go up against the \"baddest\" Cowboy
Plumbers around, you have to prove yourself to him by solving puzzles.
The goal of Pipe Mania is to lay down a set of
pipes to match the number of pieces required. To do that you must lay the pipes in such a manner that they go around obstacles and through bonus
pipes. The object of each puzzle is to make a complete circuit so that Flooze can flow from the Start piece to the End piece of
each level without spilling too much. You are given a head start of 30
seconds before the Flooze starts to flow. The more convoluted the pipes, the
longer the pipeline, and the faster you lay your course, the more bonus points
you get. Pipe pieces are dispensed one
at a time and you have a queue of five that you can see. You can place the pipe on any free tile but it cannot
be rotated. A piece of pipe already laid
can be smashed by placing another on top, but that incurs a score penalty.
Is it any good?
Pipe Mania has all the hallmarks of a fun and
addictive little puzzle game. It requires logical and quick thinking, good hand-eye coordination, forward thinking,
and spatial awareness (although a little luck may play into it with the randomness of pieces of
pipe that drop). With a total of five game modes including a two-player challenge mode and over 300 levels across seven themes, there's a lot here to keep you interested. New pipe pieces appearing and challenging game play
mechanics, such as having enemies damage your pipes so that you have to stop laying new pipe to
repair them, help to keep this frenetic game interesting. Playing Pipe Mania is akin to playing a round of speed chess. How fast can you think on your feet? Plus, the game is offered at a reasonable price ($19.99) so that you get a big bang for the buck with this game.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about this remake of the old classic Pipe
Dream and if the new game with new themes, characters, and pipe pieces is more
fun than the old. Parents can also talk
about strategy. Is it a better idea to
try to utilize all pipe pieces by placing them at a likely location on the
board, or smash them to try to make the pattern you've planned in your mind and
take the penalty to your final score?