DescriptionEach level of this abstract puzzler challenges the player to set up a network of pipes to allow an unspecified substance known as 'flooz' to flow through as many of those as possible. The pieces are offered in random order, and there are seven different types - straight lines going horizontally or vertically, corners rotating in each of the four directions, and cross-over pieces which carry the flooz straight across horizontally and vertically. Each of these can be entered from either side. When the flooz hits a gap, or a piece which the previous piece can't flow into, the pipe is finished.
Before the flooz starts flowing from its randomly-selected starting position, the player has several seconds to start placing pieces. They can be put down anywhere. However a situation that can often occur is there will be a long and complex piping arrangement set up, yet a gap somewhere remains to be filled. Players are able to replace a piece with another in the same square (to make it easier to flow the flooz that way), but for a slight scoring penalty.
Bonuses are awarded for looping the flooz through both sides of at least 5 cross-over pieces, or passing the flooz through every square on the screen. Later levels have some squares on the grid blocked off, a few gaps in the side-wall (allowing flooz to thread to the other side of the screen). After every four levels there is a bonus game for points, in which the player can only place the pieces in the lowest open space in each column, similarly to the board game of "Connect 4".
- "Pipe Mania!!" -- European title
- "Pipemania" -- Alternate European title spelling
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ContestAround the time of the release of the NES and Game Boy versions of the game, Bullet-Proof Software advertised a contest in various video game magazines. The contest involved arranging pieces of a puzzle on a grid. The puzzles pieces themselves were drawings of pipes similar to what can be found in the actual game. The puzzle had a scoring guide and there were three prize levels for the entrants with the highest scores. 75 3rd prizes were BPS T-shirts, 25 2nd prizes were a free BPS game of the winner's choice and the above mentioned T-shirt, and 3 grand prize winners who would receive a free trip to Nintendo of America's headquarters in Seattle for 4 days and 3 nights. There was also a $1000 bonus drawing for contestants that answered two bonus questions. The questions revolved around knowing the scores on the back of the game boxes of both the NES and Game Boy versions of the game.
Macintosh versionThe Mac version actually included two game programs. One was a full-on application while the other was a Desk Accessory which could be installed and run from the Apple menu over whatever regular application you were running. Pretty handy for slacking off on projects if you were working with an older version of the OS that didn't support Multi-tasking.
PortsThis is one of the most-ported games of its day, with versions for more than a dozen system in existence. Notably it was one of the few titles from a major company for the SAM Coupé, an intended successor to the ZX Spectrum (from a different company) which never succeeded due to compatibility issues and not being as powerful as the rival ST and Amiga, which both already had a vast library of available games.
- ACE (Advanced Computer Entertainment)
- February 1991 (issue #41) - Included in the list Greatest Games of all Time, section Puzzle Games (editorial staff choice)
- Amiga Joker
- Issue 01/1991 – #3 Best Strategy Game in 1990
- Amiga Power
- May 1991 (issue #00) - #80 in the "All Time Top 100 Amiga Games"
- ST Format
- Issue 01/1991 – #4 Best Puzzle Game in 1990
Related Web Sites
- Pipe Mania (Product page on the developer's website (J2ME))
- Pipe Mania aka Pipe Dream (History about the various versions and platforms for this classic game.)