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MacLife Review: Pipe Mania

Pipe Mania doesn't refer to a new kind of drug epidemic or burgeoning fad that has hipsters accessorizing with corncob pipes. It's a classic puzzle game, first developed 20 years ago for the Amiga, and recently released for the Mac and iPhone by Virtual Programming. But even now, it's got druglike addictiveness plus retro cool.

In each of Pipe Mania's 70-odd boards, you lay pipe pieces on a grid to complete a pipe from the start point to the end point. After a head start, a bright liquid called Flooze emerges from the start point and flows along your pipe, so it better all be in place or the Flooze will leak and you'll lose the level. Special pipe pieces, obstacles on the grids, tunnels, and even "hand of god" attacks make things more difficult as you progress. For such a seemingly simple game, Pipe Mania is hard. It starts being a major challenge about 7 or 8 levels in and never lets up.

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