PIPE by BMX Streets
- OS: Windows 7
- Processor: X64 Dual Core
- Memory: 4 GB RAM
- Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 600
- DirectX: Version 11
- Storage: 598 MB available space
- Additional Notes: Requires controller (Optimized for Xbox One Controller)
PIPE by BMX Streets
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Bike simulation has always been an interesting challenge in the gaming industry. The physical part seems easy to emulate, and there’s a lot of stories to tell involving BMX. Yet there’s still no ultimate adventure or simulator.
Mash Games doesn’t even try to fill this gap. It offers its own simulator instead, an unambitious physical entertainment with its modest fun. PIPE is based on previous works of the studio (like BMX Streets), but this time it’s concentrated on the process.
Graphics — 3/5
PIPE doesn’t require much. It only takes 600 MB of your disk space and a moderate (as for 2018) NVIDIA GTX 600. Of course, that means one shouldn’t expect something stunning from it. That’s right; PIPE is rather about physics than graphics.
The game sounds as plain and basic as it looks. It’s a commonplace for indie games, with no graphical polish but unusual idea and gameplay instead. So let’s see it in motion.
Gameplay — 4/5
In fact, it’s not a simulator game. It’s just a simulator. That is, while there’s much attention paid to physics and environment, gaming sides like quests or competition are completely left untouched. It feels like the developer wanted desperately to emulate BMX physics (and succeeded), but didn’t realize what to do with it later.
So we have a small but open world you can ride through and through on your wheels. The further you go and the more tricks you learn, the deeper you are into this process. Mash Games has some realistic take on how to ride a virtual BMX and get real kicks from it.
Locations are fully interactive, so any surface, even the least suitable, is a riding space. Trial is what the game is about (luckily, it has very little in common with so-called 2D bike trials). That’s the feeling when the world is your track!
Controls — 4/5
Advantages of gamepads are obvious for this tricky dynamic type of game; sitting at the keys won’t shake you that much, so the developer is right to bet on controller playing. If you have ever played Skate, you’ll notice some similarity, applied to BMX instead yet recognizable. It will take a novice some time to learn controls, but a simulator junkie with a deeper view will appreciate it fully.
The funniest thing about this game is that it requires both a mouse and a controller. A major studio would overcome this somehow, but an independent project just puts it as a matter of fact. OK, let’s have both.
Replay Value — 5/5
If your patience didn’t fail you, and you mastered the gamepad as a handlebar, you will find unusual pleasure in redoing the stunts all over and then again after a new update is delivered.
Yet, as we see on Steam, many novices launch this game only to leave it and to request a refund. They must miss some structured gaming experience, with more to compete and to achieve.
You must see it as a kind of simulator in itself (Jacques Derrida would have approved), or a kind of meditation game. Then it will make sense to you in its current state.
One can’t help feeling that this is just a physics-based demo for some project to be made. It’s not so, as Mash Games has given up on crowdfunding and works on the game in a small team. So its minimalism is a feature, not a bug.
PIPE has all to BMX the streets, squares, and pavements, and it doesn’t require a lot (certainly cheaper than a hardware BMX is). So why not give it a try if you’re even a little bit into it?
Being, in fact, a paid demo for some possible future project, PIPE is good as some BMX-based meditation and a polygon for mastering skills. For some other games.
Pros : Good physics
Open world to discover
Controller imitates the handlebar and pedals right
Cons : Mediocre graphics
Virtually no gaming content but simulation itself
Replay Value 5.0