Down The Pipe
By Df Designs
Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3

Published in Crash #2

Down The Pipe

In a game where the central character and protagonist is - well, there's no other way to say it - a turd, a few eyebrows masy be raised, but this wouldn't be the first game where the character choice has been a little dubious.

Remember Battle Of The Toothpaste Tubes? Where you took control of a tube of toothpaste firing said paste at your enemy? More recently, we had Scuttlebutt in which fecal matter featured heavily and though Down The Pipe may feature the same subject, it promises a whole lot more.

Honestly. You take control of Turdsley, who has been flushed away into the unsavoury realm of the sewer system, and it's his mission to get out of there in one piece. Armed with his Condo-cannon, heneeds to navigate and blast his way past a host of unpleasant sewer bandits to make his escape. Games that have faeces in the prominent role are plentiful (some unintentionally so) - how will Down The Pipe stand up against them? Is this a golden nugget amongst the turds out there? Will it stand the test of time, or is it just a 'flush' in the pan?

Paul Davies

Down The Pipe

Despite its irreverent subject matter, Down The Pipe has clearly had a lot of work put into it in both the small details and the overall game itself. Benefitting from a pretty ace beeper ditty (48K version) accompanied by a jigging giant image of Turdsley on the title screen and some tight gameplay.

There is some smirking granted, namely the difficulty options - 'rock hard clinker' being my favourite, I'll leave you to discover the rest - and the enemies contained within that Turdsley has to deal with. From flying tampons, toilet rolls and turds, it may not be to everyone's taste and coupled with Turdsley's weapon of choice - the previously mentioned Condocannon - sees you firing condoms to take out your enemies. You may have to keep your tongue firmly in check as you play along.

The game runs very smoothly as you plummet slowly downwards towards the bottom of each sector where you'll find a boss waiting, with enemies approaching and attacking in various patterns along the way.

Down The Pipe

It will take some practice to master and memorise these attack patterns and also master the controls, which are a little tricky at first. Moving 'down' will help you squeeze Turdsley through any narrow pipework you come across though he does so at pace which adds a degree of difficulty.

He performs the same action whilst firing too, so holding 'Up' when firing seems to be the order of the day, lest you want to come to a sticky end. There are only three levels in the game, though they are by no means short and, with three options in terms of difficulty, this will extend your playing time should you ever make your escape and want even more of a challenge.

The graphics are really nice with lovely detail, so you know exactly what you're shooting at (don't know if this is a good or bad thing) with nicely detailed scenery. The game has many addictive qualities and is the complete package in terms of what I personally look for in a game.

Down The Pipe

A nice intro, neat looks, cool tunes (some digitised speech is a nice bonus) and a well engineered game to boot - making great use of the SEUD engine in which is was 'created'. I guess "they" were wrong, you can polish a turd - it's a cracker. So strap yourself in and prepare yourself for a long time on your derriere - much like some other, totally unrelated activity!

Gordon King

The smooth scrolling, nice graphics and puerile subject matter don't mask the fact that Down The Pipe is ultimately a bland shooter with no real enjoyment to be had. The uninspirigng waveforms of the baddies, and its frustrating difficulty quash any addictive qualities that this game intended to have. Its veneer may suggest some shine, but all that shines isn't gold. Mediocre unfortunately.


Control Keys: Q, A, O, P, SPACE.
Joystick: Kempston, Sinclair.
Graphics: Nicely detailed, unfortunately.
Sound: Speech and excellent beeper tunes in 48K - nice AY in 128K mode.
General Rating: A tough shooter but quite enjoyable. Prepare for a long sit-in mastering this one!

Paul Davies

Other Spectrum 48K/128K/+2/+3 Game Reviews By Paul Davies

  • Brick Rick: Graveyard Shift Front Cover
    Brick Rick: Graveyard Shift
  • Angels Front Cover
  • Rat-A-Tat Front Cover
  • Blockz Front Cover
  • AtomiCat Front Cover
  • Yazzie Front Cover
  • Astro Phobus Front Cover
    Astro Phobus
  • Wonderful Dizzy Front Cover
    Wonderful Dizzy
  • Pre-ZU Front Cover
  • Akane Front Cover