A review by Greg Dabkey (Gamer Greg)
Game – Working Dawgs: A-Maze-ing Pipes
Version – DSiWare
ESRB Rating: ‘E ’ – Everyone
Price: $1.99/200 points
Release Date: 11/15/2012
Obtained – Review copy courtesy of Big John Games
Hey all you working dawgs out there, some pipes need be laid down and aligned so why don’t you get out that trusty wrench and bombs and come check it out? Will you be taking a bite off of the maze, or will you let the pipe maze get the last bite? There is a plenty of a-maze-ing pipes to fix, so I need to go fix that leak and let you drip through this review!
Basically this game consists of 10 stages, with 8 levels each. In each level, you can earn a gold, or silver or bronze medal based on the number of points you collect. Points are earned by having the water travel through the pipes and crossing over multipliers, starting the faucet early and using existing pipes that are already placed. The level consists of a faucet that begins to build up water pressure and self activates when it reaches maximum pressure. The player has the option of activating when they want while the pressure continues build. This is essentially your time limit on the level to lay down all the pipes. When the level starts, some pipes are already placed and the player begins with an inventory of pipes to add. The object is to connect the faucet to the drain using pipes from your inventory and those already present on the level.
Each level is a small maze with walls to navigate around. The player begins with 2 different types of pipes, and as they advance through the stages they can gain 2 additional types and the ability to use bombs. The main pipes are just a standard straight one, and curved one used to turn corners. Eventually the player will unlock the cross pipe, or + shaped, and after that a sideways T pipe. Also available are wrenches and bombs. The wrenches allow the player to remove a laid down pipe and bring it to the inventory and the bomb can blast particular walls to remove them. They can also turn some pipes in different directions that are nearby.
While playing Ace will be dropping random pieces of pipes or wrenches. Typically they are added immediately to the inventory, but there are times where the pipes will remain within the maze, and the player will either need to wrench it or go around the spare piece. Occasionally it will be facing the proper direction and the player can use it as it lies. Ace is your assistant, but tends to be very clumsy. Sometimes he is able to provide that last minute piece of pipe while the faucet was self-activated and the player did not complete the pipe maze to the drain. The player is able to lay pipes until the water reaches the end of the laid down connecting pipes.
The inventory is shown along the bottom of the screen and the player simply drags the pipe, wrench or bomb onto the playing area to use. It must be dragged to the exact spot that you want to use it or else you will need to waste a wrench to get that piece back. Once the pipe is placed, it can be rotated until it is facing the desired direction. To rotate it, the player simply taps on the piece that was placed. Once in the desired direction, the player can just drag another piece of pipe from the inventory to next spot. As soon as the player lays the next pipe, the previous pipe is locked into place and can only be removed with a wrench. The player can simply drag the wrench over the piece of pipe to add it back to the inventory. The bombs are used in the same way as the wrench, but when released, will instantly explode. The player has a limited number of pipes, wrenches and bombs, so they must be used wisely. Finally, to activate the faucet early, the player simply taps on it.
The graphics are nothing special, the dawgs are not of higher quality for DSi games and the stage designs are simple. There isn’t really much of a background either behind Ace or the border around the level. When a leak is sprung (essentially losing on the level) the animation is slightly humorous as you see Ace running around with his paws on his head panicking. The character design for Ace looks pretty good as he wears overalls, boots and a hardhat.
This area also lacks as there is just one main tune for the level selection and another while you lay down the pipes. The level theme is just a simple relaxing type of tune and after playing numerous levels it seems like it gets old. The sound effects are quite good though as the water sounds good when the player loses the level, and there’s also a crowd that yells “OH!” when the water begins to drip out of the last piece. When the water is traversing the pipes it is not a good sound as it just beeps with each individual piece of pipe. There is also no sound effect when Ace drops a piece of pipe or wrench from the top screen.
Concluding Overall Impressions
This game can be enjoyable in very small doses, but since the levels are not challenging they are easy to fly through with either silver or gold ratings on the first few tries. The graphics are also not quite top notch nor the music and sounds used with this game. The major issue with this game is the repetition, coming from the basic backgrounds on all levels, the same tune and the repetitive gameplay. While it is a cheap game that is only $1.99/200 points I can still recommend it to those looking for a quick and simple type of game that is worth the price tag.
6 out of 10