Monday, November 4, 2013

Pipes Puzzle (Game Review)

Deja Vu all over again! I've seen pipes puzzles for a long time (Pipe Mania, Pipe Dream) and this version by DS Effects is similar, but cut down.

There weren't any directions in the game, but the Marketplace says "Tap on the pipes to complete a closed shape within time limit and upgrade to the next level." But where and how to tap. It's been a while since the early "Pipe" games, but what does "closed shape" mean?

After researching more and thinking about it, the goal here is to make a closed loop. In the earlier games, you want to make the pipes connect from A to B, so that water can flow through them.

In this game, there's no start or finish. Here's the opening screen:



New game takes you to a random collection of pipe bits:


And if the Marketplace directions are true, you should be able to complete a level by connecting a set of pipes in a closed loop. Cool. Maybe I can do that!

Well, after more minutes than I wanted to spend, I couldn't do it. The problem with this game is that it sets a time limit, and the limit is only 80 seconds. That's not enough time!

I'm not even convinced that there is a solution for every stage, so I'm left saying that this is a nice game that lets you change the connections but not much more than that. By the way, you have to click in the center of a pipe intersection which then makes that "square" rotate. But the touch seems a little fiddly, so I found I would have to stab a few times to get a rotation. Dragging might be nice, but the goal is still elusive to me and the time limit is harsh. I would have liked it if the time limit could be adjustable (easy, medium, hard) and rather than tapping, maybe dragging?

As such, unless I'm missing something, I have to rate this game as a 2 out of 5: bad directions, bad touch, arbitrary time limit is harsh. Sorry, DS Effects, but I think a few more days with this could have made it cool. I had original thought I wouldn't review games that weren't great, but I now think that it is important to let people know when a game was rushed out too soon and needed more work. This game wasn't a completely epic fail, but won't let you have much fun. 

As always, if I've missed something, I'm happy to change my review and let people know what I missed.

Cost: Free
Genre: Puzzle
Score: 2 (out of 5)
Tested on: ZTE Open (Firefox OS)
Get it at: Firefox Marketplace