Pipe Mania is back to haunt us again, but I mean that very nicely of course. As with all great puzzle games the idea is simple: you're presented with a playing grid. Onto this, you must place pieces of piping from a 'dispenser' set at the side of the screen.
At the top of the screen is the amount of piping you must set down before you can move to the next level. The catch? Well, if you loo to the right side of the screen there's a timer: this ticks down and heralds the arrival of flooz, a yellowish liquid that races down the pipes at breakneck speed.
Connecting the pipes is fairly easy at first, but on later levels things get difficult with pipes that only let the flooz flow in one direction and various other devious traps. I'm happy to say that the Sam version of Pipe Mania is just as playable (and frustrating) as the Speccy game. As expected, the graphical capabilities of the Sam are put to good use, though the graphic style is admittedly pretty simplistic. Sonics are also very impressive with a bouncy intro tune and atmospheric sound effects. To my mind, this is a Crash Smash for a second time.
Pipe Mania has been a great success on all formats, and now it's arrived on the Sam. Of course the basic game is the same on every computer: no flashy graphics are needed when you're dealing with pipes. It's the infuriating gameplay that keeps you coming back for more - strange, isn't it?
Graphically, the game is almost identical to the 16-bit versions, showing that the Sam can really compete with its big brothers. Sound effects and tunes are in abundance but I can't help noticing how similar the tune is to Sam Strikes Out!, surely you can vary musical styles on the Coupe/
Pipe Mania is one of those games that are simple in concept but devilishly hard to play. If you don't like your hair how it is, or are bald, then take a look at this!
A frustratingly addictive Sam puzzle - mania is guaranteed.