The game was originally released on the Amiga by The Assembly Line as "Pipe Mania". LucasArts (then LucasFilms) ported it to many other home systems with its new name Pipe Dream. Bullet-Proof Software, a Hawaii-based publisher of American games in Japan best known for the Famicom-only version of Tetris, released the game on Japanese consoles with the help of developers-for-hire TOSE. The game has also received numerous re-releases on modern systems since the 90s.
Pipe Mania is best known to modern gamers through its many appearances as a mini-game in larger adventure/RPG games, usually as a computer hacking mini-game. BioShock, Alien Swarm, Star Trek: Elite Force II and Anachronox all use a variation of Pipe Dream for their hacking mini-games, for instance.
Pipe Dream is a puzzle game with a strict time limit in which players put together a long, continuous pipe from various pieces that join together in different ways. The goal is to create as long a pipe as possible before the timer expires and liquid starts pouring through it: if the player can successfully reach the goal length, or funnel the water to an exit chute, they win the stage and progress to the next. Depending on the version, the player can continue frantically working on the pipe even as the liquid is coursing through it.