Reader Review: Heron: Steam Machine


[Guest Review by XCWarrior of the New Infendo forums]

WiiWare is full of puzzle games. It is a rare occurrence for there not to be at least one every other week. So which ones are worth your time? Well, Heron: Machine has some great reasons to earn a look from you. For starters, the game is only $5, so even if you aren’t a fan, you won’t be out much.

As said before, the game is a puzzle game for up to four players. Since there are so many puzzle games out there, the best comparison would be Pipe Dream which was for the original NES. If you liked that game, that should be reason enough for a purchase.

Really, there is no story, after all, its a puzzle game. But the basis as told right in the beginning is that the factory owner’s son just took over and is working you long hours and you have to keep the machines form overheating.

Game Play and Controls:
There is only one mode, endless. The point is there will be a colored end of a pipe ”“ blue, red, green or yellow ”“ on each side of the pipe map. All you have to do rotate the pipes to flow the steam from one side to the other. When you do, all those pipes disappear, more fall down and the colored pipes on the sides will either move if they were the same color or potentially appear if they weren’t there before. There are special pipes that multiply your score, a skull pipe that you can’t pass through, and other icon pipes which will knock down the steam of one of the other gauges if they are part of your pipe line.

Ex: You are connecting a blue pipe sytem, and a lightning bolt pipe is in that chain. When you complete the blue pipe system, both the blue and yellow gauges will be relieved of pressure.

The point is to make sure none of the four gauges, marked by color on the four corners of the pipe maze, overheat.

Graphics and Sound:
Nothing special about the graphics, it is a puzzle game. The gauges do start smoking or squirting water or boiling if they are getting to high. Plus, the music will change if you are nearly an overflow. The music is not annoying, mildly entertaining but there is only one song. At least it doesn’t get annoying.

The game itself is a lot of fun. I have yet to play mutliplayer, but it divides the pipe map into sections and people must work together to complete the colored pipe systems. Also, there is no online leaderboards, just local. So unless you have siblings or friends to come over, you will be competing against your own best scores.

In the end though, you are looking at just $5 for a great revisiting of a Pipe Dream like game. If you enjoyed that back on the NES, pick up this game. Also, if you want to try it out on the PC, you can play the game at their Web site,

Overall, I give it a very hearty recommendation and a 3 out of 4 stars.


An artist from New York. Will has been writing, designing, and loving video games since he was young. He has traveled across the United States, and parts of Canada in order to learn more about the world of gaming. After visiting E3 for the first time in 2009, he has vowed to return there and show off a game of his own. In his spare time he tinkers with electronics, programming, and of course collecting video games.