STAFF REVIEW of Pipe Push Paradise (Xbox One)

Monday, March 25, 2019.
by Brent Roberts

Pipe Push Paradise Box art When it comes to the world of puzzle games, the gaming world isn't really spoiled for choice. With the focus shifting into shooters, racers, fighters and other genres, the puzzle games tend to get overlooked. However, Digerati Distribution developed a puzzle game for the Xbox One called Pipe Push Paradise, which attempts to deliver a challenging plumbing experience. With a price tag of $10.99, you won't be pushing the wallet very hard, but is it worth the price? Let's find out!

The plot of Pipe Push Paradise is relatively simple; this island that you're a part of has apparently had a colossal plumbing problem. Every part of the island's plumbing became undone and it's up to, the island's premier (and only) plumber to fix it. The problem though is that he's been asleep for a long while, so the task of fixing the entire island's plumbing is up to you, his niece. I don't know why you're staying alone on an island with your Uncle (maybe punishment from your parents)? This concept makes up for 100% of the entire story, and so now that you know everything, you should know that this puzzle game may look cute, but sometimes looks can be deceiving.

This is because the gameplay of the pipe puzzles starts off with some easy and fairly manageable puzzles. This is done to get you used to the physics of the gameplay, and let me explain quickly why that's so important. Unlike other puzzle games, you can not rotate objects or alter them without taking a movement space. A movement space is what I like to call a part of the puzzle area that you have to work with. So let's say you want to flip a piece on one end; when you roll the piece, you actually will also move the piece forward (instead of rolling it in place and then moving it). This extra space means that you need to plan your positioning carefully if you wish to correctly solve the puzzles ahead.

And there's a lot of them as well. 47 puzzles that are designed to make you swear unholy allegiances to complete, break controllers in frustration, and give you the ultimate satisfaction upon completion of an incredibly hard challenge. This is thanks to what could be described as an incredibly steep learning curve. As you progress through the island's puzzles, you'll come across various island dwellers who literally mean nothing to the game at all. In fact, they are actually more useless than the terrain itself, but anyways... These people speak a garbled mess of noise, but provide no real benefit so again... Pointless.

Should you make a mistake in your puzzles (and we both know you will a LOT), there's a handy reset button to revert the puzzle back to it's original layout. Speaking of the gameplay, it's remarkably simple with buttons that allow you to go forward and backward through your steps of solving it (this came in handy when trying to figure out how to solve the harder puzzles). This gameplay will become essential when you start trying to solve puzzles in 2.5D by trying to rotate pipes to deal with overhead leaking.

There is a MASSIVE problem though; that your character moves at such a blinding speed (even when you use the D-Pad or sticks) that she will undoubtedly knock into pieces and operate in a hyper spastic way. This cripples the game and makes it not fun to play, because while the puzzles can be fun to accomplish, having to deal with a constant hyper-speed character that naturally causes gameplay issues within itself, is not something I care to spend my money on.

The graphics of Pipe Push Paradise are simplistic, as in child cutting shapes out of construction paper after nap time kind of simplistic. There's sadly nothing remotely beautiful about the island, and that's depressing because while Pipe Push Paradise is going for a more cartoon feel, I think they nailed their target audience in the 3-5 year range. However, I would have been far happier to ditch the pointless people who do nothing and instead increase the graphical assets. The same nightmare exists for the audio as well. It became so bad I turned everything off regarding sound because it literally drove me to knock back massive amounts of Advil to kill the headache it caused.

So as a quick recap, the movement controls that you deal with constantly are over sensitive, which making controlling your character through the pipe puzzles relatively difficult. There have been better graphics through Mario Paint and the sound was terrible in every aspect. However, the pipe puzzles in 2.5D were both frustrating yet delivered a tremendous amount of satisfaction upon completion. Should you spend your $10.99 on Pipe Push Paradise? Quite simply, no.

Overall: 5.0 / 10
Gameplay: 5.0 / 10
Visuals: 5.0 / 10
Sound: 5.0 / 10


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