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Issue 2.6


Profile: Roadworks

Issue: 2.6 (July/August 2004)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 2,866
Starting Page Number: 9
Article Number: 2604
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Years ago one of my favorite games was called Pipedream, where you'd race to lay out a path of pipe before the liquid oozing from the starting point would catch up. I still have an ancient black-and-white "desk accessory" version I play in Mac OS Classic occasionally. Now along comes REALbasic Design Award 2004 winner Roadworks with a similar premise.

In Roadworks, your object is lay out a road before the car catches up and runs out of road. While it's similar in principal to Pipedream, the game play is different and there are some neat additions.

One frustrating thing about the game play is that you cannot just click on a tile to place a piece of road there -- you must first click on the tile in the tile deck. This means two clicks for every tile placement, which is a lot of extra mousing around -- and not much fun, at least if you're used to Pipedream.

However, Roadworks does allow you to rotate tiles after you've placed them: that was a key strategy limitation of Pipedream. Thus in Roadworks, the strategy is more about fully using the bonus elements in the grid: driving over points markers, gasoline tanks, and avoiding hazards (or blowing them up to make way for your road). While those are fun, there aren't many until you get to higher levels, and I find I prefer the strategy of Pipedream.

I also found the car's steering to be confusing: when given an intersection, it would often turn when I expected it to go straight.

But Roadworks' graphics, sounds, and music are all excellent, a terrific demonstration of what REALbasic can do. There's even a nice "tip" feature which pops up at the beginning and end of each game offering pointers.

The full version includes a level editor so you can create your own playing grids which you can share with others.

End of article.