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Tube Master
(QB Cafe)


"Gameplay whereever the water flows"

Tube Master brings the classic Pipeline game experience into a new generation of gamers through QB! Shift pipes back and forth and keep the water flowing before time runs out. Can you twist and turn the water the correct way while making sure you have enough pipe pieces to get the water where you want it? Endless levels guarantee a puzzle game that will keep your mind moving in a whole new tangent!

Graphics (n.)
The use of animation and visual effects to stimulate the senses
Good. The graphics in Tube Master aren't very complicated, but in the same token it doesn't need to be. Some large tiles in a hi-resolution background are just about all you need for a puzzle game as long as the graphics don't flicker or seem under-rendered. QB Cafe made sure that Tube Master is respectable in this respect.

What Tube Master could use in the graphics department is some color variation. The red background remains the same regardless of how many levels you solve, and after a while the redness and the vibrance causes the eyes to hurt. Perhaps this could be mediated with a few extra backgrounds and animation sequences. 

Sound/Music (n.)
The smooth blend of atmospheric sounds and original harmonies
Probably Tube Master's only weakness, but it's a hurting one. The few Sound Blaster-style sound effects hamper the game because they tend to lock in the middle of gameplay, causing high pitches that could hurt the ears. It's best to turn the sound off while playing this game, which is a shame because some arcade sound effects really helped to give some stimulation to PC Pipeline, the game to which Tube Master was inspired.
Gameplay (n.)The precision of control and involvement of character within its universe vv
If you're not familiar with the popular PC game Pipeline, then a short explanation is needed. The object of Tube Master is to manipulate the flow of a stream of water towards a faucet; to do so, you have to shift a series of pipes back and forth like a picture puzzle. If you set up the pipes correctly, the water will flow to the faucet, you score a ton of bonus points, and you proceed to the next game level. If you fail to position the pipes in the right place, the water will splash into a wall and you lose a life.

This simple concept is expanded in Tube Master by adding mouse support, which allows players to move the pipes about quickly and efficiently (with a little practice.) There are also power-ups hidden in some of the pipe pieces. If the water flows into these power-ups, anything from flow rate to bonus points earned will change.

The only drawback in the gameplay of Tube Master is that victory and failure doesn't carry a lot of weight. Regardless of how well you're doing, the outcome is always the same; you get a fresh shape of pipes to shift. After a while, it does get a little repetitive.

Story (n.)
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
(Very Poor) With a Pipeline-style puzzle game, it's pretty difficult to come up with a storyline to back up the game and pick up some Story points. A demo or two (or maybe a clever mascot) might add to the story, but it might take away from Tube Master's tight gameplay element.
Replay Value (n.)
The timelessness of the gamer's delight, such that the experience can be repeated again and again
Average. Tube Master offers some replay value simply because there aren't a lot of QB games like this one, let alone any puzzle games like this on the market today. And in terms of control, Tube Master does manage to mimic and even improve on the PC Pipeline game. It's refreshing somewhat to play a game like this among other puzzle games, which tend to be just a little too complicated for the mind to handle sometimes.
Challenge (v.)
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought and reflexes

Tube Master is a fair game, in the sense that there always seems to be enough time to get the pieces just the way you need to in order to get the water safely transferred to the faucet. The problem with this system is that no new pieces are really introduced as you progress through each of the game's levels; once you master which pieces work best with each other, you can easily move the pieces around as quickly as possible in order to move the water safely across, with the exception of a few levels where the correct combinations are few and far between.
Fun Factor (n.)
The overall entertainment value as maintained throughout the adventure
If Tube Master was a little clearer and stronger in the sound department, then the game would benefit in Entertainment Value. Pipeline games don't have much variation in graphics, so some good sound effects and a big library of music would keep the mind jogging when the game starts to get a little repetitive. Without such variations in sound or graphics, Tube Master gets pretty lax in the long run.

However, you do get a rare type of game that isn't seen very often anymore. Pipeline games are hard to find, and if you're a Pipeline pro then you are the kind of person best suited to enjoy Tube Master. Otherwise, puzzle gamers may still enjoy Tube Master as an effective "fill-in game" when an elongated QBRPG requires a break or so.

Players 1 player Genre: Puzzle Game
Rating To solve: N/A Final Rating: 10/35

To download this game, click here.
Installation Tips
wIf you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
wTo play Tube Master, unzip the file, go into the "TUBEV11" directory, and run "TUBE.BAT".

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