With everything else going on at the SXSW Gaming Expo, you'd think it would be hard to find the message in the madness. But Pipe Trouble wears its intentions on its sleeve and isn't afraid to have a little bit of fun as it asks questions about important environmental issues.
The satirical Pipe Trouble is a reworking of the classic game Pipe Dream, setting it in a rural wilderness where you’re in charge of connecting the pipes needed to collect natural gas. Of course, you have the choice to be respectful of the environment while still trying to maintain a profit. Do you mow down a forest or do you go out of your way to find a way around wilderness reserves and farmlands? And what about the protesters and tree huggers with bombs? It’s a fine balance that must be kept, but it’s fun and really challenging as the game progresses. And while there are humorous bits throughout this puzzler, with an intentional old school 8-bit feel, it also brings to light the serious side of the real-world issues surrounding the exploitation of natural gas. It also connects to a documentary film by the award-winning Julian T Pinder, called Trouble in the Peace, which addresses the same issues.
Designed by Jim Munroe (Indiecade Grand Jury Award winner) for Pop Sandbox with a score by members of the band Fucked Up, Pipe Trouble is available as a free trial online with a full version available for purchase on select tablet devices (iOS and Android). They even have stand up arcade consoles specially created for use in bars, universities, and galleries throughout North America. A percentage of all proceeds are donated to the David Suzuki Foundation, a Canadian organization that works toward preserving nature and quality of life.
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Image: composite Pop Sandbox and Doug Kline.