Super Pipeline

Graphics: 4
Sound: 4
Control: 4
Depth: 3
Overall: 4

Super Pipeline

By: Taskset
Released: 1983

Super Pipeline was specifically written for the Commodore 64, but it plays like a classic arcade title from the golden age of arcades, complete with an attract mode and intermissions between levels. And the gameplay isn't derivative of other games either!

You play as a foreman on a pipeline, making sure a certain amount of water makes it to the barrel below. Thwarting your progress are sewer bugs and lobsters that will knock you off the pipeline. Your other enemy is a small man who will drop "stop gaps" onto the pipeline causing the flow to cease. Who is this guy? Is he a sewer gnome?

Anyway, you can shoot the bugs and the lobsters, and you can even knock off the saboteur with a carefully timed shot while he's still on the purple ladder, but you can't directly repair the pipeline; that's where your worker comes in.

While you can't directly control your worker, you can lead him around if you get his attention. You can then move him to areas that need repair or just use him as a human shield against enemies. In a bit of morbid humor, you have an infinite supply of workers and there is no real penalty for killing them off. (I'm sure OSHA would have a field day with this.)

While you can clear boards pretty easily by keeping the saboteurs at bay before they wreck havoc, it's almost more fun letting the level go to pot, then try to figure out how to navigate the chaos without getting knocked off.

The graphics are simple, but colorful and the music is upbeat and catchy. You can pick your difficulty level, number of lives and starting level before you begin. My only minor complaint is that after ten boards or so, the game becomes very fast and challenging. If you are a Commodore fan, you really ought to give Super Pipeline a try.

-Ben Langberg