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BrainPipe is worth a delve. You'll be enthralled throughout play, and have it on your mind long after you've hit Exit. There's a demo available for those who want to check out the experience before putting money down.
Practically impossible to describe, the only thing I can think of that bears any similarity is when you boot up a game by UbiSoft and you travel through the purple UbiSoft logo, like a time-warp – or even better, the opening credits of Dr. Who. You control what seems to be the inside of an eye (looking outwards) down some sort of wormhole which is coloured in all sorts of trippy shades. You move the nub (or d-pad) in order to collect objects that come your way, or avoid ones that you don’t want. As your progress through a level, the speed at which you travel increases, but you can use the x button to slow it down a bit. There is no tutorial or instructions, just complete bewilderment. Oh, and an extremely creepy soundtrack. Brainpipe is difficult to grasp and will almost certainly not appeal to everyone, but it is completely and utterly original and unbelievable addictive.
The only real question mark that hangs over the game in my opinion is the longevity of the title - especially once the game has been cleared on the one and only difficulty level. I can see myself coming back to Brainpipe every now and then for a quick chill-out session, but it's really not the kind of game that I could sit down for hours with at a time. Still, it has an addictive appeal in the short term, and this, coupled with a unusual concept and some excellent presentation makes the demo at least well worth a look.
WindowsOut Of Eight
BRAINPIPE lacks the strategy required to make a purely arcade experience something more. It is certainly easy to pick up, but there’s nothing beyond the initial objective of avoiding stuff. I do like the overall presentation of the game, from the graphics to the sound: the developers had a clear vision of the weird world you are navigating through and its executed well. There are some moments of enjoyment as strange creatures are flying past your viewpoint at rapid speeds, but this experience becomes monotonous quickly. Each level is just like the last, except faster with possibly one more enemy type. It’s fortunate that BRAINPIPE only lasts ten levels, as I don’t think anyone could last longer than that before becoming too bored. The sensation of speed and uncertainly of the next set of enemies can only go so far: you need something more to deepen the experience.
The lazy comparison would be Rez or any of Jeff Minter's tubular acid trips, but those all had fiendishly precise and beautifully balanced gameplay elements purring away under their glowing vectors. Brainpipe has the looks but not the heart and since the only evolution in gameplay is that it gets faster, the sparse 10-stage layout only offers long-term appeal to those who care about score-chasing.
MacintoshInside Mac Games (IMG)
Brainpipe is a neat idea that is destroyed by a fatal gameplay flaw. The mouse control is no good. Considering that all you’re doing in the game is racing down a tunnel and dodging obstacles and collecting items, mouse control is pretty key, and it’s just plain bad in this title. The feel of guiding your reticule (which is oddly old-school blocky contrasted with the rest of the game’s future LSD funk look) around the screen is akin to driving a really old car with a steering wheel that sticks.