Enough Plumbers – Browser Game Reivew

Games like: Super Mario Bros, the Lost Vikings, Lemmings

TL;DR

Play the game in your browser here: http://www.notdoppler.com/enoughplumbers.php

Marios! Marios everywhere! What seems like a 2D twist of the new popular multiple Marios that can be found in Super Mario 3D World, actually came out a few years before the illusive Nintendo title and was actually put together in two hours, according to co-creator Glen Forrester. Speaking to Arthur Lee over IRC, Enough Plumbers takes a very simple concept and merges it with a poor rip off of an extremely popular AAA mascot. Mario… I’m talking about Mario. Anyway, let’s get Enough Plumbers!

So many clones...

So many clones…

Enough Plumbers has spread it’s arms across the wide internet and you can find the it in the more common places for flash games. The game doesn’t take too long to load and you are more than welcome to use your trusty keyboard to move the Mario rip offs around, but as you should know by now (and if you don’t, then you seriously need to read some more reviews) that we go with the gamepad all the way. Joy2Key comes to the rescue and I’ve included files both for the Xbox 360 controller and a legit SNES controller. Sure, it’s not exactly Mario we’re jumping around with, but it’s close enough to give it the Nintendo gamepad treatment. You can use the control pad to move our clones around and the A button (Xbox 360) or B button (SNES) will be set to jump from place to place. Also, the Start button will allow you to restart the level you’re on. Sometimes that comes in handy.

Coming back using the same computer and browser, allows you to open a stage select screen.

Coming back using the same computer and browser, allows you to open a stage select screen.

Sure, you’ve played puzzle platformers and there’s two different variants of puzzle games: those that repeat those from the past and those that try to do something different. Luckily for us, Enough Plumbers goes the way of the later. The key game mechanic here is creating clones of yourself. Again, this isn’t new, but slap some familiar platforming on it, you’ve got something different and exciting.

It's a-Me! Mar... nope...

It’s a-Me! Mar… nope…

It’s all about making multiple copies of yourself. Spread throughout the levels are coins. Collecting the coins will create a new copy of yourself that you control simultaneously with the others. One of things that Enough Plumbers does that’s much different than other comparable puzzle games is usually it doesn’t matter how many clones make it to the exit. Just as long as one does. Most of the time you’ll be sacrificing your clones for the better of the goal. Sure there are a few times when you need a certain number of clones to trip a switch, but the main objective is to get to the goal, much like Super Mario Bros. So killing clones is OK here, and hell, it’s actually required.

Your protagonist looks like Mario (albeit in blue and grey overalls and hat). All of the stages are restricted to a single screen, set somewhere in the sky complete with familiar enemies and dangers. This plays right into our classic Super Mario Bros action and will come familiar to anyone who’s a fan (I mean, who isn’t, am I right?) Other than your roaming enemies, you’ve got hazards as well like fireballs. One touch of these bad boys and it’s bye bye to our clone Marios. There are also a slew of power ups available for you to partake with. Metal Mario makes an appearance along with Balloon Mario and a new “reverse” Mario that falls up instead of down and moves right when you push him to go left. All of these power ups are required to complete the level and have their own abilities separate from the typical jumping clone.

The Coin Jump is very cool game mechanic that allows new clones to double jump.

The Coin Jump is very cool game mechanic that allows new clones to double jump.

One of the neat inventions that came out of Enough Plumbers is the Coin Jump. As I’ve said before, collecting a coin will create another clone. Before the newly created clone drops out of the coin, if you hold the jump button and a direction to jump to, the clone will do almost like a double jump once created. One of the levels gives you a great demonstration of this ability. This really sent me wheeling. What a great idea. And after playing through a couple of levels using this newly found ability, it feels like this came out by accident. Anyone who’s not a stranger to programming knows that weird things can happen once you get into the brass tacks of a system. I got the feel that this Coin Jump was one of those. Maybe they didn’t program the new clone to just drop down and isn’t controllable until it hits ground. I don’t know, but I really liked the idea. Sometimes I just can’t keep the geek from coming out.

Just a few hazards you'll encounter.

Just a few hazards you’ll encounter.

The level difficult starts off extremely slow with a copy of Lakitu holding signs to give the player a hand in figuring out the way the game plays. Even going as far as using his head as a platform to make it to the goal. After these first intro levels, the puzzle platforming becomes very straight forward. At the start of many of the levels, a quick glance over the level set up, you’ll know right away what you are suppose to do.

Along with Metal Mario, Balloon Mario makes an appearance as well.

Along with Metal Mario, Balloon Mario makes an appearance as well.

It isn’t until level 15 or 16 where the challenge of the game really takes hold. As I said above, you rarely need more than one Mario clone to reach the goal to complete the level. In the higher levels, you’ll need to keep one Mario clone off in a trench with no where to go until you move a different clone to the opposite side to trip a switch. Now that switch tripping clone is basically up the creek without a paddle and the lone clone has the job to make it to the goal. The difficulty level ramps up quickly, but still has a great sense of fun that will have you playing through to the end.

Getting to the top was one thing, but now have to move to the other side... reverse clone!

Getting to the top was one thing, but now have to move to the other side… reverse clone!

Coming back to the game using the same computer and browser, Enough Plumbers will save your progress (through cookies, I’d imagine) and gives you a level select allowing you to go back and replay your favorite levels. It’s a fun break in your day. It feels familiar and gives you enough challenge to keep coming back until you’ve finished it.

Enough Plumbers takes a well known gaming genre and slaps a neat twist to it. Think puzzle Mario Bros with clones. Lots and lots of clones. The puzzles are challenging, even if that challenge comes later in the game, and has a charming feel to keep you playing. Plus it’s free and you can practically play it anywhere since it’s in your browser. So many clones!!

Play the game in your browser here: http://www.notdoppler.com/enoughplumbers.php

Download Joy2Key file for Enough Plumbers using the Xbox360 or SNES gamepads.

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