FULL PIPE. reviews (en) - Иван Максимов FULL PIPE. reviews (en)

Иван Максимов — FULL PIPE. reviews (en)


Everyone who's been through the Pipe describes it in a differnt way. Some say it's similar to our world, while others say it's

quite the opposite... Rather than trying to describe the game, lets take a look at just a few of the characters you will meet

on your journey through the pipe under your bed... Guv-the-Drawer puts into his drawer any item that can fit it and after

throws away big green egg with this item inside.. Doesn't like domino as it has bad influence on digestion. Basically he is a

quite nice fellow. Egggulper gulps eggs. He is greedy but it's possible to come to an agreement with him. Weird Wacko is

the sanest one among all the characters on the Second Floor but he suffers from a spirit of contradiction and an initial form

of the Internet dependence (as we got to know afterwards)... Small fries. No one knows how abundant they are. Small

fries like retro music of the early 20th and they do no other harm. Hand Thirty For. No one knows whose hand it is. When

the jar overflows with Shrimps, it pulls them out upwards. All of them! Tennes. He appears suddenly and disappears at

once. Looks like a tennis-ball yet having all vitally important organs. Almost all of them.


Written by Jack Allin — January 23, 2007

If you hear a gurgling sound in the background, that's just the potential of another promising game being needlessly

flushed away.

Back when new hope still flowed freely, Full Pipe seemed an ideal choice to be the debut adventure on Valve's renowned

Steam distribution system. Even beyond the remarkably synchronous names, this unheralded adventure is exactly the sort

of game that both benefits from and contributes the most to the cause of digital distribution. Previously available only in the

developer's native Russia, Full Pipe is arguably too quirky, too raw, too "niche" to warrant an international release as a

boxed product. But with the ability to download a game without borders at a click of a button, now even the underdog has

a chance to reach worldwide audiences.

Plunge a little deeper, however, and the quality of Full Pipe itself soon begins to clog up the perfect plan. It doesn't happen

right away, as the game swells from a delightfully simple premise to a deceptively complex design, and has undeniable

charm oozing out of every seal and gasket. Unfortunately, the experience quickly sinks under an endless stream of illogical

puzzles, and with virtually nothing in the way of story to keep it afloat, much of the enjoyment is ultimately sucked down

the drain for good.

Of course, there are those who might argue that Full Pipe qualifies more as a puzzle game than an adventure in the first

place, though that distinction seems unnecessarily restrictive. Nevertheless, the game does forsake many of the genre's

conventions, stripping the gameplay down to its core basics without any pretense of characterization and plot.

Full Pipe, subtitled (total flue) in the Steam version, begins with a scene of the nameless protagonist sleeping soundly until

a monstrous hand emerges from under the bed to snatch one of his slippers and disappear back to the depths. Upon

awakening, our hero — a rotund little bald fellow who looks something like a Mr. Potato Head with a disproportioned coil

on his back — discovers the theft and decides to pursue the shoe down a giant hole beneath his room. That's right, there'll

be no saving the world or exposing grand conspiracies in this game. Following footwear is what it's all about.

Actually, even that's not true for long, as the slipper is found immediately, depriving the game of its one tangible

motivation. Instead, the singular abstract goal becomes finding a way back to the surface. Doing so will require working

your way through eight levels of a subterranean sewer-like world consisting of 36 different "cells", each connected by a

series of pipes and elevators. Naturally (or in this case, quite unnaturally), many of these passages are inaccessible at first,

blocked by the various denizens of the deep and requiring you to solve puzzles or succeed at mini-games in order to


In some ways, gameplay in Full Pipe is reminiscent of Samorost or the Goblins games of old, presenting a series of

individual challenges in what is essentially a mental obstacle course. But while those games continually push the player

forward in a linear fashion, the world of Full Pipe is intricately interconnected, so the deeper you go the more complex the

puzzle possibilities. Or at least, that's the theory. Unfortunately, the developers rarely capitalized on the benefits of their

own clever design. So while you'll often find yourself backtracking to rooms you've visited previously, you'll usually just be

passing through or performing variations of earlier actions instead of finding new strategic opportunities available to you.

It's a waste, though hardly the least of this game's problems.

The puzzles themselves are pretty standard fare, relying almost entirely on basic inventory applications. You can't combine

items, so progress is generally just a matter of applying the right object in the right place. But that would be too easy, so to

increase the difficulty, Full Pipe opts for the time-honoured tradition of using puzzles that make no sense whatsoever.

Someone, somewhere, thought this was a good idea. I'm here to proclaim, right here, right now, how very very wrong

they were.

Just this once, I'll reject my own principle of never giving spoilers, as I'm not sure I could make up examples as both

pointless and absurd as some of what I encountered here. (For those who hate spoilers, rest assured that there is plenty

more frustration to discover on your own.) Very early in the game, one particular bespectacled creature was babysitting a

lever that I presumed I needed to flip. All efforts (both strategic and otherwise) to overcome this dilemma were futile, but

lucky for me, the creature was willing to trade me his glasses in exchange for a cupboard drawer he proceeded to wear as

a hat. Why did I want the glasses? I didn't, or at least I didn't know I did, but I was glad to be rid of the drawer, as it had

proven too big to turn into an egg in a previous room. If you're not exactly following this line of reasoning, join the club.

That growing look of bewilderment on your face is exactly the same one on mine as I played, only without the frequent

bouts of cursing. This is neither an isolated incident nor the worst offender of the lot; just a random early indicator that

logic and reason are generally unwelcome guests in the land of Full Pipe.

© Иван Максимов 26 февр. 2009 14:11
Теги: full pipe