My skills as a plumber leave much to be desired. I once poured a banking soda/vinegar solution down my shower drain to clear a clog only to be rewarded with a pipe with a hole in it and said solution everywhere. Oh, good times. Luckily, you won’t need a plumber to play “Waterworks”, a card game that tasks players with being the first to make a connection from the valve to the spout after placing so many pipes. Before you ask…yes, pipes CAN leak in this game, though you won’t need a towel to clean everything up.
The game includes two decks of cards and eight metal wrenches (not real ones, obviously).
Setup & Gameplay
Each player receives two metal wrenches, a valve card, and a spout card. All of the pipe cards are shuffled and each player receives five to form their starting hand.
On a player’s turn, they’ll take ONE of the following actions:
1. Lay a pipe card. In the beginning, players will lay a pipe card next to their valve and continue from there. All cards must be played in a vertical orientation. A player cannot perform this action if they have a leaky pipe in their pipeline. To repair a leak, a player, on their turn, can either place a good pipe on top of the existing one (so as long as it matches) or use one of their wrenches. Pipes can never be placed in such a way that it would prevent a pipeline from continuing.
2. Lay a leaky pipe card on top of (so as long as it matches), or adjacent to, the last card in the pipeline. Copper pipes are immune to leaks. No more than one leak can be present on a pipeline at a time and once a pipe has been repaired, it cannot leak again.
3. Discard a card.
After playing a card, the active player will draw back up to five cards.
When a player has laid the appropriate number of pipe cards (depends on the number of players), then they may, on the same turn, connect a spout in order to claim victory. The spout must be pointing down.
Editor’s Note: The above doesn’t cover all of the rules found in the manual, but should give you an idea as to how the game is played.
This game admittedly brought me back to my childhood. While I didn’t own this game per se’, I owned a few video games that tasked me with connecting and rotating pipes in order to complete a level. You’re essentially doing the same thing here, with the exception of the latter. Instead, you can mess up your opponents by playing leaking pipe cards on top of or adjacent to the last pipe in their pipeline. “T” pipes and caps further add to the chaos as a leak must be fixed before you can continue laying pipes to achieve victory.
In doing a little research, I discovered that previous releases of this title supported up to five players (whereas this one only supports four). This was somewhat of a letdown seeing as how I myself have a family of five. Still, this isn’t a bad little card game for the $7-9 price tag. I believe it to be more suited for kids and their grandparents or just family time in general. Hardcore gamers may find this game to be a bit too easy to serve as a filler in between longer play sessions, but obviously mileage will vary. Give this a look if you’re into light/casual card games or need something to keep younger kids occupied for a while.
Final Verdict: 6/10