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"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
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.
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
|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.
The creativity and presentation of the game's critical plot
||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
|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.
To strike the mental nerve in such a way as to stimulate human thought
|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
|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
||Genre: Puzzle Game
||To solve: N/A Final Rating: 10/35
To download this game, click here.
you're unzipping this program in DOS, you may have to use the -d option.
play Tube Master, unzip the file, go into the "TUBEV11" directory, and
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