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Soda Pipes

Published by Athletic Design
Price $19.95
Primary Genre Secondary Genre

It's not uncommon for a reviewer to feel a sense of deja vu once in a while, especially when you review independent games. The feeling that you've seen something before is often because you have; in the case of Soda Pipes, I saw this game a few weeks ago, or at least I did in theory. The other game was Plummit.

Midway through Adventure mode and I'm being asked to join the pipes but I'm already risking a spillage... Puzzle mode. I've just received top spot on the highscore table thanks to this genius pipeline!

Hopefully, you've now read the Plummit review and worked out that Soda Pipes is another Pipes clone. Fortunately the sense of deja vu started to pass pretty quickly once I started playing Soda Pipes, as developer Athletic Design has managed to include enough variation to stand it apart from other Pipes games.

Soda Pipes has three games modes on offer. Arcade is pretty much a standard pipes clone where you must guide a running stream of soda by placing random pieces of pipeline around the level. We also have a Puzzle mode where you have the same objective but with the timer replaced by a set number of pieces. Both of these modes are played on a single screen with a new high score entry being your only true goal. Arcade mode can be played at three difficulty levels.

Worst of the three modes is probably Arcade. My attempts to keep the stream going always end in early failure.

The final mode, Adventure, is where the real challenge and difference lies in Soda Pipes. This mode offers 28 increasingly challenging levels where completion of a level allows access to the next. Unlike the other modes, these levels have strict objectives, and like Arcade mode, the levels can be tried at different difficulties.

The challenges in Adventure mode range from simple navigation around objects such as cones to splitting the advancing stream into mulitple paths. Each of the challenges starts with a small tutorial to give you some idea of what you must do to proceed, and the difficulty curve as you progress is just right.

Visually, Soda Pipes is the opposite of Plummit, adopting a bright, isometric 3D view and an appropriately bubbly style. It is easy to see what is happening at all times and the presentation is top notch. Control is mouse driven with left clicks placing pipes and right clicks speeding up the flow once your pipeline is complete.

A jolly soundtrack and spot effects keep up the spirit but as with many puzzle games, sound is probably the least important aspect of the game.

So, where does that leave Soda Pipes for its final score? It isn't really fair to judge the game against the standard set by Plummit. Soda Pipes is different enough for you to at least try the demo, and if you are on the lookout for a Pipes-inspired puzzler then you should be trying out both games!

Graphics 80%
Sound 70%
Playability 80%
Longevity 75%
Overall Score 77%
Silver Star

Published on 28 Jan 2005
Reviewed by Hayden Yale

Keywords: soda pipes review, athletic design reviews, athletic design games, soda pipes scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.