U-Bend is a pipe-mania type of game for the Sinclair ZX81, written by Bob Smith..

Pipe-Mania, and the similar Locomotion, were games which often featured as type-in magazine listings for the ZX81, and the game itself has lasted the test of time, having had versions of it written for just about every machine there is. The ZX81 has a few, I remember writing one (very badly I must add) in BASIC in 1982, so I thought I’d have another go at it.

The game itself is very straightforward – arrange tiles on a grid so water can flow from one to the next, building a pipeline to cover enough distance to complete the level – but the random and limited number of tiles, and the speed of the ever-flowing water, makes for an interesting and often frantic game. Whilst researching this game using the ZX Spectrum version, I noticed it had Tetris-style bonus levels, which I never knew about (as I don’t think I ever got as far as completing level 4), and so those are also in my version. The 36 levels themselves are all based on those of the Spectrum version, but the passcodes for the levels are different (so no quick cheating!)

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