Please note: This review will contain dramatic and experimental prose, irony and cynicism for comedic effect and the entertainment for you, the reader.
It’s a cold winters day and probably an awful day at work -the one that pays, yet ultimately destroys spirit and humanity- when I check my mobile phone for to see if I have any messages regarding the death of or dying family member; the only time I ever get a message. To my astonishment I had received an email, though not my typical email of a refund from organization I’ve never dealt with, or the gold mining company in Beliveau that need £1000 transferred to their account, so they can set up their business and pay you back in millions; an offer no idiot can refuse. This email was from the publisher Digirati and the opportunity to request a review code for Pipe Push Paradise. Pipe Push Paradise is a 2D puzzle involving, you’ve guessed it pipes.
You have arrived on an island your uncle lives. Your uncle being the islands plumber has been out of action for the pass few days and the island needs running water. It’s up to you, a silent protagonist to fix the islands plumbing problem.
It was about a week later when I received the code. When I got in I rushed to my switch and typed the code in. ‘This Product is not available’, but it is available, I can see it on the store, it’s right there. I email the contact at Digirati explaining the situation and… Nothing.
Very few games capture the essence of being on vacation somewhere exotic quite like Pipe Push Paradise. It’s bright or tropical colour pallets mixed with this simplistic childish character design that seems to be popular in warming climates just sets that tone. If the visuals do not do that for you, the relaxing guitar melodies will. It’s freeform style of play only heightens this relaxing nature, the guitar playing is free, and taking its time, and just going nowhere in a hurry, it says “Hey relax, you’re on holiday, just chill out”.
After a further two weeks, with no contact out of nowhere I received another email. “Sorry for the delay, it has been crazy here, please find new code below”. I had not been forgotten. The anxiety, the worry of feeling that the developer may think I’ve done a fast one had subsided. Once again, I rushed home to enter the code.
In theory, Pipe Push Paradise is simple. You have one section that has water coming out, and using the surrounding spare pipes you must put them together so the water flows into the exit pipe (or is it entry pipe as the water flows in?). However, the talented developer Corey Martin takes this concept and develops it extremely well.
The puzzle areas are set in a tile grid so it’s easy to understand were you stand push and move. However, if a pipe has an ‘L’ shape for example, upon pushing it roll making the bend stand vertically up. This makes precision in how you push pipes and move around the maps key. Though it doesn’t end there, as pipes start to split in multiple directions, some puzzles have you creating arches, you’ll have entry pipes (or are they exit?) on a higher level that makes you consider heights, levels with holes in the floor allowing you to use pipes as bridges and pipes that magnetize together on contact. The game gradually introduces these new ideas, and mechanics that provides a sense of development and progression. Though, with its open world design allows you to tackle puzzles at you own will, only having main areas gated off which has a puzzle at the side of it to open said gate; until the very last gate of course.
I typed the code in, and I pressed enter… “This code has already been used”, was this me?” I thought. “Am I doing something wrong?”. All I could do was to email the publisher once again. To my delight I had a quick response.
“I’m having a nightmare with this code, aren’t I? ”
A new code was provided, and the new code worked. After this ordeal, if anything, made me like this publisher more. It shows humanity and personality. It affirms that, it’s just a couple of people doing what they love.
You’ll be thankful for that open design, oh you’ll be thankful. Because this game, this Pipe Push Paradise game, and its designer Corey Martin are Satan personified. I can see Corey now, sat on his meat throne staring at us peasants, MoCking us all. It’s just simple, you just push pipes. HahA, You just push the Pipes, HahahAhahaHA, JUST PUSH THE PIPES! WELL IT ISN’T THAT F%&£ING SIMPLE IS IT. NO! No, it isn’t, because this game is hard, very F&*$ING hARd. It’s all bright and colourful, and it has relaxing music, WeLl that’s just a front; this gaMe mocks your INtelLiGenCE. Oh no, the game very qUICkly makes you figure that out YOuRSelf. It’s like hitting a patio door you thought was oPen, everything you perceived about yourself is wRoNg, you are not smArt, you are not talENted, you are not capable of anything, you, like I, are an IDIOT. If you think you are smart, try it, go on, TRY IT! Haha, oh you’ll learn the reality soon enough. This game difficulty just sLaPs you in the face with it’s enormous flaccid tENtACle. If I wrote for one of the major gaming news outlets I would say “It’s the Darksouls of plumbing” but I not an idiot, but Jack, you are an iDIot because this game reviled that to you. Yes, I know that Jack, as we aLl know Darksouls isn’t that hard. Push Pipes, you’ve just grasped the mEcHAniCs and then it punches you. But Jack what about the sense of achIEVEmeNt once you’ve figured the puzzle out? Yes, Jack, you do have a sense of acHieveMENt, you feel like the smartest person alive, only for that feeling to diSSiPAte quickly when you move to the next puzzle. I mean, what are we doing here anyway Jack? What is the point of all of this? We just slug along, not knowing who you are, where we are going or for what purpose? We just sit around playing video games, listening to the brightly coloured guitar laughs laughing all the way Hahaha HAHAHA HAHAHA!
Jack slumped into his crossed arms at the foot of his keyboard, and appeared to be, what sounded like at first, to be laughing, only to find on closer inspection crying. Crying about all the things he wanted to do yet never succeeded, crying at his mundane life has become, crying at his utter worthlessness and crying at the realization that this is how his life is destined to continue. He cried so hard it rocked the contents on the table which consisted of his laptop, one half bottle of whiskey, one nearly empty bottle of bleach and a shooter glass what appears to be containing whiskey.
Jack quickly rose up, placing both hands on the adjacent eye, and with one slow strong wipe, cleared the tears his face and regaining composure with a single exhale of breath as he faced forward.
“The game is great, and from a game design stand point it’s pretty much perfect. If I was to rate it out of ten, it would most definitely get a nine”. He says acceptably.
“Corey Martin is a clever man to come up with something so basic yet fundamentally complex. I love how it pokes fun at the silent protagonist with speech bubbles appearing with ‘….’ And npc’s acting just as awkwardly. My only reservation with the game is that the movement of the character is very sensitive”.
Jack reaches for the glass, slowly sliding it towards him and lifting off the table in one continuous motion. Staring at the glass, he slowly starts to rotate his wrist, lightly swilling the liquid in the glass around. He then goes on to continue “Pipe Push Paradise is out now on Switch, PS4, PC and Xbox one”.
Jack slowly blinks and stares forward with no conviction, with no remorse, with no love, with only determination. He then quickly gulps the fluid from the glass that makes his face scrunch like paper and then straightens out again, followed by three quick staccato coughs. He then says to himself solemnly “There was nothing to fear, nothing to doubt”.
Guest Blog Post by Jack @ThePnutbean and YouTube
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