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Plumb Luck DX


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On 8/28/2022 at 6:43 PM, SmittyB said:

Thanks. I actually have a spare colour available for the background but I decided to stick to 2 because I don't want it to be distractingly busy. Being able to use extra RAM to get around limitations like the tile limit and lack of transparency definitely allows it to look much better than it otherwise could.

Yes. It rivals the NES in many ways and I could see the NES doing this with 8K of VRAM but it wouldn’t be easy. Nice job!

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New build. Changes include -

  • Progress is correctly saved at the end of each level instead of just when getting a high score.
  • Added a transition from the game screen to the high score screen.
  • Pressing RESET goes to the high score screen from the game screen.
  • Colours are corrected for PAL consoles.
  • Level count has increased to 66.
  • Up / Down skip 10 levels at a time in stage select mode.
  • If you complete a level you must play the next one. (Prevents players replaying easy levels to build score).

To do-

  • Add / improve sound effects.
  • Add AtariVox speech.
  • Add more levels.


Play on JS7800


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I'm thrilled to say that Plumb Luck DX has been nominated for the best 7800 WIP port in the 5th Annual Atari Homebrew Awards!
Thank you to the nomination committee for the honour, and thank you to everyone who has played Plumb Luck whether it's to your taste or not.
Remember to have your say and vote for your favourites before it's too late!



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It's been a while. Here is what I believe may be the finished build of Plumb Luck DX. I've been sitting on it for a few weeks as I haven't been sure whether to post it or not, but have at it. Some Concerto users seem to have graphical issues on the title screen (seemingly to do with reading the graphics from RAM), but it's fine on Dragonfly from what I can tell. I'm not aware of any bugs and while I have rigorously tested it on my PAL machine it would be good to hear from other NTSC users.


Play on JS7800


~Story so far~

This is it. Your boss Plumb-Bob has landed the biggest contract you've ever seen and he's going to need it if your small plumbing business is to survive.

What he didn't know before he signed however is that many other contractors have been hired and fired during the construction of this toxic waste facility so as Plumb-Bob's apprentice you'll need to contend with their leftover piping, and to make matters worse the pumps will be turned on today whether the work is finished or not. Delays are unacceptable when big money is on the line.

If you're going to complete what was started, claim your paycheque, and avoid an environmental disaster, it's going to take all of your skills, quick thinking, and plumb luck!

~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~
Only sleep on the job when paid by the hour.


~Getting Started~

Plug a compatible 1-button or 2-button controller into the left controller jack, and optionally plug a SaveKey or AtariVox into the right controller jack.
Turn on the console and the opening credits will appear. After a short time the screen will fade to black at which point the title screen will appear and periodically cycle to the high score screen. Pressing either fire button will transition to the gameplay screen at which point the game will start.

~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~
If a High Score Cartridge, SaveKey, or Atarivox is connected holding SELECT + RESET while turning on the console with POWER will delete any Plumb Luck save data on the device, resetting progression and clearing high scores.



Plumb Luck supports the use of both 1 and 2 button controllers. When using a 2-button controller the right fire button can be used to speed up the flow of slime which can also be done with the SELECT button for 1-button controller users.

If a High Score Cartridge, SaveKey, or AtariVox is available then stage progression and up to 3 high scores will be saved automatically. An AtariVox will additionally allow the use of high quality sound effects and voice cues. Please refer to your device's instructions for setting these up.


~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~

Plug in an AtariVox to hear me speak.



~Stage Select~

Before you begin playing you will need to select a stage as indicated by the words "Stage Select" in the score board, and the flashing markers either side of the play area. The currently selected stage is indicated by the level number 'LVL' and the target length is indicated by the 'T'.
If progress has previously been saved then the initially selected stage will be the highest level reached, and on subsequent plays it will be the level last attempted.

    Left - Select the previous stage
    Right - Select the next stage    
    Up - Select the stage 10 ahead
    Down - Select the stage 10 previous
    Left Fire Button / Right Fire Button - Start the chosen stage
    RESET - Show the high score screen

~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~
If you're aiming for a high score, try starting on a stage you find easier.



Having started a stage the reservoir on the left of the play area will begin to deplete. Once it has emptied slime will begin to pour from the pump, and it's your job to place pipe sections to divert the slime to the drain while making sure to meet or exceed the target length while doing so.

Your cursor will start next to the pump, move it around the play area with the joystick and press the fire button to place a pipe section from the top of the stack. You can freely place a pipe section over another, but it will take longer than placing one in an empty space. You may not place pipe sections over solid blocks, the pump, drains, or any pipes that already contain slime. Some stages will include pipes already fitted, but these are not special; you may freely replace empty pipes but not ones with slime.






~~Solid Block~~



~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~
Plan ahead! It's faster to put a pipe section where it can be used later than it is to discard it.


Crossover sections are special in that they act as both horizontal and vertical pipes, and once slime has passed through one way it can be directed to go through the other. As well as being versatile, completing a loop by filling a crossover section with slime in both directions will increase your score multiplier by 1 up to a maximum of 4x.





~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~
Complete loops early to make the most of the multiplier bonus.

Remember that all your efforts will be for nothing if the length of the pipe between the pump and the drain is not greater than or equal to the target number indicated on the scoreboard at the start of the stage. "T" will count down as the slime progresses, indicating the number of sections it still needs to pass through. The pump and drain do not count towards this total.

If you succeed in completing a pipeline from pump to drain with a suitable length then you will complete the stage and be presented with the next one. Gameplay will pause to give you time to assess the stage and target length; press either fire button to start the stage. Your score carries over from stage to stage as you complete them in sequence. If you have not previously reached this level then your progress will be recorded to your save device.

If the slime flows into an empty space, a solid block, or the side of a pipe facing the wrong direction then it will spill and you will fail the stage. If you complete the pipeline but it does not meet the target length you will also fail the stage.
When this happens you will either be presented with the high score screen to enter your new score, or after a short pause the stage will reset and you'll be prompted to select a stage to try again.


~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~
 Keep your eye on the slime. A single mislaid pipe will throw your plans out the window.


    Left / Right / Up / Down - Move your cursor around the play area
    Left Fire Button - Place the pipe section topmost on the stack on to the play area in the cursor's position
    Right Fire Button / SELECT - Hold to speed up the slime
    RESET - Quit the stage
    Right Difficulty Switch - Set to the B (left) position to auto-detect whether to play AtariVox or console sound effects. Set to the A (right) position to disable AtariVox sound effects. Speech will still play. Note: SaveKey users should should set this switch to A.


~Expert Levels~

Once you have reached level 127, levels 128 to 254 will be available when selecting a stage. These are the same stages as levels 1 to 127 but the slime flows at twice the normal speed. This means you have half the time to prepare before the reservoir is depleted, and will need quick reflexes to stop it spilling.

If your progress is recorded, level 127 will be the stage initially selected when you turn on your console regardless of your last stage played.

~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~
Stay hydrated. Plumbing is thirsty work.


As slime flows through the pipes your score will continuously increase.
As you complete loops with crossover sections the amount your score is increased by is multiplied. Starting at 1x for no loops, then 2x, 3x, and finally 4x after completing 3 loops in a stage.

If your score multiplier is already at the maximum of 4x when you complete a loop you will instead be awarded a bonus 75 points.

Completing a stage will award you a bonus of 300 points

Placing a pipe section subtracts 5 points from the score, so it's not always a good strategy to wait for the 'correct' pipe section to reach the top of the stack.


~Plumb-Bob's Top Tips~
Make the most of the space in each stage to maximise your score.

~High Score Entry~

If you are successful at achieving one of the top 3 highest scores you will be shown the high score screen and prompted to enter your initials. A cursor will flash under the initials next to your score. Once you have confirmed your high score entry the scores will continue to be displayed; press the fire button again to return to the game.

    Left / Right - Move the cursor between the 3 initials
    Up / Down - Change the character at the cursor's position
    Left Fire Button / Right Fire Button - Confirm high score entry

~Plumb-Bob's Topmost Tips~
Check out other great games from AtariAge!
Need a specific pipe section quickly? Place the unwanted ones in empty spaces instead of waiting for them to be replaced.
Make the most of the reservoir to get a head-start on the slime, especially on expert levels.


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ZeroPage Homebrew presents...



Sun Dec 17, 2023 @ 12PM PT | 3PM ET | 8PM GMT
WATCH LIVE: https://twitch.tv/zeropagehomebrew/

WATCH LATER: https://youtube.com/zeropagehomebrew/


On Sunday December 17, 2023 ZeroPage Homebrew will be interviewing the developers of every single new physical release coming to the AtariAge store! Join us LIVE on Twitch while we unbox all the new Atari 2600, 5200, 7800, Jaguar and Lynx games and talk with the incredibly talented Atari community members about their games! Get your questions ready for the devs and following along in the Twitch chat as we pop in each of the 22 new releases into our Atari consoles!




Atari 2600: Berry Fun!, Bot&Tom, Caramujo, ElectroBall, Game of the Bear 2 Much To BearImmunity!, Penult, Quantum Tunnel, Robot Zed

Atari 5200: Scorch

Atari 7800: A.R.T.I., Death Merchant, E.X.O., Harpy's Curse, Millie and Molly, Oozy the Goo - Gaiden, Plumb Luck DX

Atari Jaguar: Defender of the Crown, Novagen Volume 1, Rocket Ranger
Atari Lynx: Growing Ties Deluxe, Odynexus

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On 12/21/2023 at 4:04 AM, SmittyB said:

I can't wait to get my hands on a copy or two to show off to friends and family.

Just checking this game out for the first time. @SmittyB You should be very proud of yourself. The highest compliment I can give you is this looks like a an Atari ST game. Very impressive. 

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Awwww shucks it happened again. Plumb Luck DX has been nominated for another award in the 6th Annual Atari Homebrew Awards!
Thanks again to the nomination committee, to James for all the unseen work it takes to make these awards happen, and to the AtariAge community for whom this game was made.

However as the late, great Bruce Forsyth would say "You don't get anything for a pair, not in this game." so don't forget to vote for your favourite games in each category before the deadline on the 18th of February.


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