(Note: Not my video)
A few weeks ago, I got sick. Unable to get out of bed or do much of anything, I started looking through my archive of games.
I found an Amiga game called Pipe Dream (sometimes also called Pipe Mania), which I also have played Commodore and NES versions of.
I was gonna do an ASCII representation of what the world has been looking like to me for the past week, but the Preview Post option showed me that it wouldn't have panned out. The thing is, I think this damn thing has given me the Tetris Effect. I swear whenever I'm reading a book, the space between words become pipelines to me, and I'm always tryng to think of ways for them to criss-cross so I get extra points when the Flooze fills them. Thank goodness I haven't dumped ink on all my books to make the pipe dreams a pipe reality!
So what is Pipe Dream? Well, some of you may have actually played it--a version was included with the Best of Windows Entertainment Pack way back in the day--but the simple answer is, its a puzzle game where you're given a starting point and a random distribution of pipe parts, which you have to arrange into a pipeline. After awhile, this stuff called the Flooze oozes out of the starting point and goes through your pipeline. You have to meet a minimum amount of pipes to go on to the next level, but beyond that you get scored for how long you can keep the flooze floozing. Some versions (such as the NES version) also have a mechanic where you can force the flooze to go faster, and you get bonus points for this... at least, I think you do.
As the game goes on, new challenges are introduced: special pre-placed pipes you get points for incorporating into your path are just one example, while other levels have some tiles littered with immovable garbage. Usually the border of the grid is a solid wall, but some levels introduce gaps where your pipeline can wrap around.
One thing I want to strangle a programmer for, however, is the levels that introduce one-way pipes. These are special pipes you place which the flooze can only flow thru one way. The problem with this is that in the Amiga and C64 versions, these things look just like the normal pipes except that their tile has an arrow pointing the direction on them... and this arrow is very easy to miss, leading to lots of times where I placed what I thought was a perfectly fine elbow joint only for the flooze to not pass it and too late, I realized it was a one-way pipe. This is one of the few legit improvements the NES version makes: it changes the graphic so that the pipes themselves form an arrow shape, meaning you won't mistake a one-way for a regular pipe. I still hate these things though, because due to the luck factor its nearly impossible to incorporate these things into your pipeline and I often end up just putting them out of the way so I can get to the next thing in the queue.
Every four levels, there is a bonus stage which plays like Tetris: instead of placing pipe pieces, you're given a random one that you can command to drop, and the idea is to use these random drops to make a pipeline (again, starting from a start point). Fortunately these bonus rounds are just that: bonus rounds, and thus optional, so you can give zero craps and not worry about it. Thank goodness, because I hate these things--its basically impossible to create any sort of complicated pipe layout within these limitations, so at best you'll make maybe a few hundred bonus points.
Okay, so earlier, I said "this is one of the few legit improvements the NES version makes" as if the NES version was inferior in some way to the Amiga and C64 versions. To be honest, my first feeling was that this was exactly the case--right off the bat I noticed that the NES version gives you far less time to get a pipeline ready before releasing the flooze, which seems also to move faster. Because of this, it left me feeling like I had far less time to think and thus had to just jump at whatever was offered more. However, it must be admitted that I adapted to this and soon was just as good (and addicted) to the NES version as I was to any of the computer incarnations, and it is nice that you can speed the flooze up--it gets tedious waiting for it to finish its run when you've run out of improvements on the Amiga.
Oh crap, the flooze is here! I've got to go.
EDIT: ... the green text is supposed to look like a continuous pipeline. It looked fine when I used the Preview button, but then in the actual post it became just random green words. Screw it.