The sequel to the superb Super Pipeline is more of the same frantic pipe-fixing action, with you playing a foreman, directing helpers to fix holes in order to keep the water flowing.
Actually, is it water, or is it oil? I don’t know…
[According to Zzap!64 it’s water].
Super Pipeline II plays pretty much the same as before: you control the foreman and the AI controls the helpers. Yes, that’s plural – you get two helpers this time, instead of the one, and it helps make the game more interesting. Getting the helpers to go to a leak means having to make contact with them first, so you must walk to them then lead them to a leak, where they will fix it (with a hammer).
The leaks are actually caused by the various enemies moving along the pipes, so you must shoot them to get rid of them before they do too much damage.
If an enemy touches the foreman he’ll fall off the pipes and lose a life, so you have to avoid them at all costs. Helpers are expendable, and – once taken out by a meanie – will return to the fray after only a short while.
There are other things to watch out for too, like water levels in the tank at the top. It acts like a timer and when the tank is empty the foreman loses a life and has to try again. There’s also a lobster enemy, which sometimes comes out and is impervious to your bullets and can only be avoided. Not easy when the screen is busy with enemies.
Super Pipeline II is a memorable Commodore 64 game with jolly tunes and funny cut scenes (including one where a Sinclair C5 is smashed-up in a humorous dig at Spectrum owners!) and is still great fun to play now. What distinguishes it from its predecessor is a marked improvement in the graphics, and a few refinements in the gameplay, but otherwise they play the same.
Together, the Super Pipeline games represent the best of British software from the mid-1980s.