Pipe Trouble

Pop Sandbox
Pop Sandbox
Development Province
Android, iPad, iPhone
Official Site


Pipe Trouble is a high-profile mobile game that takes a clever spin on an arcade classic and uses over-the-top satire to prompt mainstream discussion for ongoing real-world issues surrounding the exploitation of natural gas. Tasked with building a natural gas pipeline, players must balance financial demands against impact on the local environment.

In a highly successful outreach campaign, Pipe Trouble disseminated in retro-style arcade machines at more than two dozen high-traffic locations across the province, including universities, galleries, tourist attractions and urban centres.

Pipe Trouble caused a national media stir and landed in a firestorm of controversy prompted by grossly inaccurate reports that the game allows players to blow up pipelines and advocates eco-terrorism. The controversy spread nationally and into highest levels of Canadian government, pressuring public broadcaster TVO to pull the game from their website and launch an independent review. This controversy has since been dispelled through an outpour of support from the gaming community as well as coverage on CBC Radio’s The Current, CBC Television’s Lang and O’Leary Exchange, the Financial Post, the Edmonton Journal, Vice Magazine, The Huffington Post, BoingBoing, Gamasutra and many others.

The overwhelmingly positive independent review found “Pipe Trouble does not support, glamourize or advocate violence in any way… Pipe Trouble is not a game about blowing up pipelines. It is a game about building pipelines. To succeed, players must pit their spatial ability and speed against economics, regulations, efficiency, the environment and yes, sabotage. The game is designed to make you think, and it does.”

Pipe Trouble showcased at South-by-Southwest in Texas, the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, the Games for Change Conference in New York, and the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France.

Nominated for…

  • Best iOS Game
  • Best Animation
  • Best Audio
  • Best Game Design
  • Best Game Innovation
  • Best Indie Game
  • Best Visual Arts
  • Best Writing
  • Game of the Year
  • Fans’ Choice Award
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google Bookmarks

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