Pipe Mania

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Pipe Mania / Pipe Dream is a classic computer game in which the player lays down sections of pipe onto a grid, while/before a slow-flowing liquid flows through the pipe. Don't let it spill out!

Pipe pieces are typically dispensed to you one at a time, and it's your duty to make the best use of them as you lay them down - you're usually penalised for unused pipe pieces, and for removing laid pipes.

This game has spawned a number of imitations, and the exact rules vary between them. Sometimes, the goal is to just send the fluid through a certain number of segments, or, alternatively, connect two fixed segments with an unbroken pipe. Sometimes the liquid flows while you're laying down pipe, and sometimes it starts flowing after you run out of time to lay segments.

Tropes used in Pipe Mania include:
  • Breather Level - At level 17, after eight levels of obstacles and one-way sections, you are presented with an arena free of obstructions, no arrowed pieces, and only a minimum distance of 12 to beat (which is less than the first level). While a breather in one sense, the dispenser sequences become a lot more random and the fluid races through the pipes after a short time.
  • Endless Game - if you manage to complete level 36, you are forced to repeat it over and over again until you eventually fail.
  • Puzzle Game
  • Pipe Maze - creating something like this is the point of the game.
  • Scoring Points
  • Timed Mission - Not a direct example, but you have to race against the fluid flowing through the pipes as you lay them.
  • Wrap Around - Some levels have holes in the side of the arena that transfer the fluid flow to the opposite side of the screen.