Viper Software
Simon Ffinch
1985
Arcade: Action
£6.95
English
ZX Spectrum 48K
None

39,40
Chris Bourne

This is in effect the Speccy version of the original Commodore pipeline game produced by Taskset. This conversion, produced with the co-operation of Taskset, makes only two minor changes to the original: instead of the foreman firing bullets at the foe he throws spanners; and there are two more screens to entertain you. The game also comes with an improved version of an old arcade favourite.

SOS is the game where you have to guide a module down to the planet surface to rescue the folks and then return to the mother ship. Both journeys require you to dodge the streams of space debris and the laser blast from the nasties.

In this version of Pipeline you control a foreman and one workman. Your one and only task is to make sure that the flow of petrol to the barrel underneath the network of pipes is not interrupted. The one little pest who seems determined to make sure the flow is stopped can be seen running up the ladder onto the gantry above you. From above he will drop objects that will damage the pipe so you must either kill him by throwing a spanner at him or simply dash around the network, with workman in tow, so the damage can be made good. Your task will be made a great deal easier if you bash the anarchist as often as you can, but you are likely to be distracted by the ladybird-look-a-like pipe bugs. These bugs also use the ladder and once they are above you can drop down onto the pipe you must knock them off, because if they reach you it's curtains for certain.

An impressive array of difficulties has been programmed into the game. To begin with there are eight different pipe structures, each one more complex than the one before. Three skill settings allow you to select how many attacks you are going to suffer from either the anarchist or the bugs. Finally you can select how many lives you would like to be allowed for each game, any number between one and eight. Select any but the easiest pipe system and you are going to be in for a nasty surprise in the shape of a well armoured and very persistent lobster.

CRITICISM

'Pipeline is quite an original game which has good graphics. The pipe menders are rather funny to look at but I suppose the looks go with the job. Unless you start throwing spanners at the other man to begin with, you land yourself with an almost endless task. This is a pretty good game. I enjoyed it'

'I have played Pipeline a lot on the CBM so / was pleased to see it out for the Speccy. Initially I was a little disappointed because this version is a good deal slower and so became monotonous after a while. The graphics are large, jolly and very well drawn but the sound, as usual, isn't very good - though adequate. After about half an hour l had managed to perfect a simple routine to get me through most of the screens. To start with I enjoyed this game a lot but it does tend to get boring after a while' 'Until I reviewed Super Pipeline I had never seen a game like this. This version could have been a lot better with only a few modifications, an increase in speed for a start would have gone some way to making it as exciting as the Super Pipeline game. I did find the repeating cycle of pipe systems a bit too much towards the end. However having said that when you consider the game on the 'B' side which really is pretty good I think the cassette is good value for money.'

COMMENTS
Control keys: Z/X left/right, K/M up/down, L to throw
Joystick: Kempston and Interface II
Keyboard play: very good
Use of colour: not extravagant but clear
Graphics: very neat
Sound: spot effects only
Skill levels: three
Lives: up to eight
Screens: eight
General Rating: Slightly above average.

74%
74%
68%
76%
63%
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76%

Screenshot Text

A grinning workman and a grinning foreman in PIPELINE CSM's offcial version of the Taskset Commodore game. Keep that fluid flowing Floyd...