Toobz Review

Toobz Review

Apr 5, 2011

Plumbing isn’t easy, and neither is Toobz. Similar to your Pipe Mania-type game, water flows out of a beginning point, and you have to construct a series of pipes, randomly assigned to you, to lay down to create a consistent water flow – if the water path flows out into an empty square, it’s game over. You have 4 modes to play in – Classic, where you have a limited amount of time to lay down pipe before the water starts flowing; Show, where you are shown are the next 4 pipes; Timed, where you have a total game time that you have to try to score the most points in 3 minutes; and finally, Max5, where you try to score the most points in 5 levels.

Toobz’s problem is twofold. First is that all you have to do is just get a flow that doesn’t wind up flowing out into an empty space without any kind of minimum number of pieces. Often, your best strategy is just to play it safe by making the shortest, safest path possible, especially since you can beat a level with just one piece. This leads into the next problem – there’s just too much randomness. Since you can only see one piece into the future except in one of the game’s modes that lets you see up to 4 pieces ahead, planning is practically worthless because there’s no rhyme or reason to what will come next, which leads back to why playing overly safe is the smart strategy. Play for the time bonuses and short paths as soon as you can, ignore the negative point bonuses you get for placing pipe down elsewhere, and you’ll likely have more success than you will by trying to create long paths.

This design just feels more like I’m trying to cheat than I am trying to play properly, and it feels like I’m being punished any time I take a risk, with little to no reward. I think that having set sequence modes instead of, or in addition to, the random set modes would help as some of these levels could use the help of intelligent design behind them. Toobz really works a lot better in Max5 mode, where it encourages you to play risky, and in the Show mode where it lets you plan ahead. Scoreloop (responsible in part for the game being on Android through their “Go Android” program) integration is great, as the online leaderboards work great.

If you like the Pipe Mania gameplay, then you’ll likely love Toobz, and the price of free (with in-game ads) is hard to beat. However, I find too many flaws with the randomness and design to solidly recommend this one. You’ll likely have more fun looking elsewhere.

Toobz Review Rundown

5
Graphics/Sound - Fairly generic graphics and sound, nothing to write home about.
8
Controls - Nothing too complex - you just tap where you want to lay down your pipe section.
5
Gameplay - Fairly derivative of the classic Pipe Mania gameplay, and often suffers from its randomness.
7
Replay Value - Several game modes and online leaderboards to keep you coming back.
5.5
Overall - Randomness is the kind of thing that can kill a good game - and it is often frustrating here.

App available on the Google Play Store »

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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