Pipe Dream

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a game by Bullet Proof Software
Genre: Puzzles & Words
Platforms: DOS, NESNES, GameBoy
Editor Rating: 6.1/10, based on 6 reviews
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Puzzle Games
Pipe Dream
Pipe Dream
Pipe Dream
Pipe Dream
  • Manufacturer: Bullet-Proof Software
  • Machine: Game Boy

Wouldn't you just love to play a game where your task is to fit pipe segments together to make as long a pipeline as you can before some gooey fluid overtakes you and floods the basement? Does that sound exciting? No? Well, then, you obviously haven't played Pipe Dream. The original computer version, released by Lucasfilm Games, received many awards after its release, so if you had any doubts about this game, flush 'em.

In Pipe Dream your job is to fit together pipe segments of varying types so that they form a continuous line away from a starting "spigot". You cannot rotate the pieces and must try to fit them together as they come. Further complicating matters, shortly after a round begins, viscous fluid called "flooz" starts flowing horn the starting point. There is a meter showing the "distance" the flooz must travel before reaching the end of the pipeline, and if your pipeline isn't long enough to carry the flooz at least that distance, the game is over! The longer you can make your pipeline, the higher your score will be.

The danger, of course, is in placing parts willy-nilly Gamers familiar and leaving an incomplete segment from which the flooz can escape. You have no control over what pipe piece you'll get next, so you're forced to work with what you've got, looking at the "pipe dispenser" on the screen. This bin of pieces shows the next five pieces you'll get, so you can try to predict where to place pieces in anticipation of what's coming next. When the flooz starts to close in on the end of your pipe, "danger" music starts to play, and if you haven't met the distance requirement, you'd best hurry up!

Pipe Dream supports the Game Boy's Video Link, allowing for two players (provided both have the game cartridge). In this mode, the first player to win three stages in a row wins the game. To further heat up the competition, every time a player makes a "loop" (with special criss-cross pipe segments), he or she causes the opponent's flooz to suddenly advance by four pipe segments!

Pipe Dream features several different pieces of background music, 36 levels to challenge you and animated sequences after every four stages - as well as a password. There's plenty of time to ask Santa for this one!

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP
  • P-200, 32 MB RAM

System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

Game Reviews

  • Manufacturer: LUCASFILM GAMES
  • Machine: Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, IBM, Macintosh

The flooz is loose! The runaway liquid threatens to flood the entire city, and it's up to the player to stop it. As they lay the pipeline, gamers must use careful strategy to keep the flooz flowing as long as possible. Once the first city block is saved, players continue on through 36 increasingly cunning levels.

The secret to Pipe Dream is a cool head and sharp wits. Start by quickly examining where the starting point is located. Try to visualize the pipeline as it should appear so as to take as much of the field as possible. Next, look at the pieces in the hopper, and see how they would fit into the scheme. If the next piece in line does not fit in the next space, try to "see" where it could go for use at a later time. Don't waste too much time thinking about this - the flooz is flowing fast. Concentrate on staying as far ahead of the flow as possible by laying the normal straight and curved pipe.

As soon as you get a little breathing room, use the crossover pipes as much as possible. Flooz that crosses over itself is worth 500 points instead of the usual 50 points for a normal flow. This is the single-best way to earn a high score in this game.

The other bonus that can push your score up substantially involves crossover pieces also. If you flow the floor through five or more crosses, you'll earn an extra - and sizable - bonus. This is hard for novice players, but after a while you'll see patterns of pipes in the bin and be able to visualize configurations that will turn into high-scoring layouts.

Eventually, a few pieces appear that may temporarily confuse the player; they won't seem to fit anywhere in the scheme of things. Don't panic. Here is where a key decision must be made. Players can place the pieces off to the side in an area they feel may be used later. This is a good option only if the pieces can be interconnected so that it will be easy to hook to them later on. Make this decision wisely: unused pieces cost the player 100 points each when a round ends. This can prove devastating to an otherwise respectable score.

The other option depends on where the distance meter is. If the meter shows that the pieces already on-screen are enough to complete the minimum flow requirement, hit the flow button to end the round instead of haphazardly placing the unwanted pieces. This can be a key move because instead of losing points, players get double points for all pieces the flooz flows through after the flow key is pressed. No matter what position the flooz flow is in, even if it's a fraction of an inch from the end of a run, use the flow button to finish the flow. All of your bonuses will double also!

After the first few levels are complete, a bonus round allows the player to increase his/her score. Here, place the pieces in any connecting fashion without concern for crossovers or long strategies. There is simply not enough time. Instead, just drop together the pieces that connect, and quickly dump the useless pieces off to the side.

After the bonus round, the levels feature new twists such as obstacles or reservoirs. Try to avoid the obstacles by building the pipeline around them. The reservoirs are very important for two reasons. One is that they will buy the player extra time, since the flooz takes time to fill them. The other is that they are worth 500 points if the flooz passes through them. Head for them whenever possible.

Other items to look out for are the one-way and bonus pipes. Watch out when laying the one-way pipes. Flooz must pass through them in the direction of the arrow, otherwise the round ends when the flow hits the pipe. Bonus pipes are worth extra points if the flooz passes through them.

Finally, when a level begins, scan the borders for openings in the walls. These openings allow the flooz to pass through one side and appear on the other. This can be key when space on one side is running out!

The response to Pipe Dream has been admirably restrained.

Fortunately, it's not necessary to physically restrain everyone who contracts Pipe Dream fever. But frankly, we're surprised that the Surgeon General hasn't ordered us to put a warning on the box.

Pipe Dream is Lucasfilm's fast-flowing new computer game of skill, strategy, and plumbing. And while the devilishly simple concept makes Pipe Dream easy to learn, it's maddeningly tough to master.

Imagine playing chess in the middle of a pie fight.

Pipe Dream is objective is simple enough: just piece together a pipeline from plumbing parts that appear on the side of the screen. But after eight seconds, the flood gates open. The plot thickens. And quickens.

Suddenly, you're scrambling to lay pipe ahead of the flow. You've got to think strategically. But act the trickier instinctively. One wrong move, brief hesitation, or misplaced pipe part and you're sunk in a sea of soggy sewage!

Learn why plumbers earn $75 an hour.

Of course the better you get, the faster the flow.

And the 36 levels get progressively trickier, with special bonus tubes worth extra points. Reservoir sections that slow the flow of sludge. Unexpected obstacles appear. So do mandatory finishing points. And other trials to drive the deftest pipe-layer daffy.

Choose a Pipe Dream play mode to suit your skill: basic, expert, or two-plumber challenge. And when no one's looking, use the training mode to glimpse advanced level screens that you might otherwise never see.

Test your plumbing skills before you buy.

For a sample version of Pipe Dream look on specially marked boxes of Kao diskettes, or send $200 for postage and handling to: Pipe Dream Offer, Kao Infosystems Company, 41444 Christy St, Fremont, CA 94538. State diskette size (3 with a half or 5 and one quarter) and system type (PC or Macintosh only).

Once you've contracted Pipe Dream fever, move up to the full-blown version and really test your pipe-fitting prowess. If you're lucky, the only thing they'll have to restrain will be your enthusiasm.

  • Bullet Proof Software / Super Famicom

Pipe Dream is the ultimate test of reflexes, timing and skill! Catch falling pieces of pipe and connect them to the pipeline before the liquid spills everywhere! The pieces range from curved, straight or T-shaped pipe fittings. There are numerous levels to complete, but watch yourself as the levels can become quite an overflow!

  • Platform: Gameboy
  • Type: Puzzle
  • Release: Nov. 1990
  • Levels: 256
  • Difficulty: Avg.

In this mind teaser you must become a speedy and efficient plumber. Different shaped pieces of pipe appear on the side of the screen. Take these pieces and connect them together to make a continuous pipe. But, slowly the pipe begins to fill with water and you have to stay ahead of it. Get extra points for loops, tunnels and reservoirs. For a wild version, link 2 together and play against each other!

People say:


This 'race against yourself' is the type of game that the GameBoy is suited for best, but that doesn't make up for the fact that there is no action and little strategy here. Building the correct path of pipes may be the goal, but this game aches for something more.


While Pipe Dreams is not for everybody it is a thinker that at least is different. It's not terribly exciting if you play a one person game but it gets frantic, and turns into a whole new game when you play it in the 2 person cooperative or vs. mode.


Another portable puzzler with a slightly different approach at the same thing. One cool thing about Pipe Dreams is the you're really competing against yourself more than anything else! Pipe Dreams is a cool version of video solitaire that will have you trying to do better!


This is an excellent GameBoy time-puzzler! It's a fast race against an oncoming flow of water-verses your ability to place the proper pipe pieces in a sensible pattern. Success is strategy and movement in proper harmony! A thirst quenching and refreshing splash of challenge.

Pipe Dream is an appealing strategy game that offers an interesting combination of logical challenges and fast, nonviolent action. You play the game on a 7x 10 grid of squares. Each of Pipe Dream's 36 levels has a starter pipe from which a liquid called flooz begins flowing shortly after the round begins. You must build the longest possible network of pipes before the flooz reaches the end of the pipeline. Pieces of pipe available for play appear in a dispenser to the left of the grid and must be played in order.

Pipes can be placed on any square through which the flooz has not already flowed or that is not blocked by an obstacle. You can place a pipe on top of previously laid empty pipes, but this costs you 50 points and precious time, because it takes a few seconds to demolish the old pipes. On the easier levels of Pipe Dream you can choose from seven basic pipe shapes. As the difficulty level increases, additional pieces become available. Careful planning is a must, because you can't rotate the pieces before placing them. Fortunately, there's a training mode that allows you to practice your "pipe perception."

In thebasic one-plumber game, the next five pieces to be played are always visible in the dispenser. In the expert one-plumber game, there are two dispensers from which to choose. In two-player mode, each dispenser is assigned to a different plumber. What makes the two-player mode interesting is that it encourages cooperation instead of competition.

To finish a level, you must get the flooz to flow through a pipeline of the minimum required length. You get 50 points for each piece in the pipeline. But each additional piece is worth twice as many points.

Whether you're a child of the Sixties who wants to go with the flow, a modern yupster aspiring to be well connected, or just someone who's looking for something different, Pipe Dream will plumb the depths of your puzzle-solving abilities.

Snapshots and Media

DOS Screenshots

NES/Famicom/Dendy Screenshots

GameBoy Screenshots