Created in the late 80s, and available on a number of platforms over the years including a very playable Windows version (which can be found in the "Best of Windows Entertainment Pack"), Pipe Dream is one of the few puzzle games that does not resemble Tetris in any way.
The object of this game (besides making the player have a panic attack is to build as long a pipeline as possible on the screen for a green substance called "flooz" ("goo" in some versions) to flow through. A grid is laid out upon the screen, containing only one occupied square at the beginning of the first level, a one-ended start piece. On the left side of the screen, outside this grid, five squares with pipe segments can be seen. The one at the bottom is the one that will be placed in the square you click on, and when that piece is used, the four above it will move down and a new, random piece replaces the one at the top. Pipes can be placed where there was already a pipe, as long as the pipe being replaced is empty, but a penalty of 50 points is taken from your score each time you do this.
A grace period of several seconds is given at the beginning of each level, but soon the green flooz will begin to flow through the start piece. You must continue to build ahead of it. If the flooz flows out of a pipe and there isn't another one waiting for it to go through, the level will end, and if it has not flown through the minimum number of pipe segments for the level, the game will end. At the end of each level, 100 points are deducted from your score for each pipe segment that has been placed but is still empty.
50 points are awarded to your score for each pipe segment the flooz goes through; after the minimum amount of pipe segments have been flown through, 100 points are awarded. An additional 500 points are given each time the flooz crosses over itself in a plus-shaped "cross" piece, as well as for each "bonus" pipe (which are randomly placed on the screen at the beginning of some levels) or "reservoir" pipe, which is wider and takes a few seconds to fill, giving you more time to build ahead. After the level minimum distance has been reached, bonus and reservoir pipes are worth 1000 points instead, and if by the end of a level, the flooz has crossed itself in at least five crosspieces, an additional 5000 point bonus is given.
Try as you might to fit more pipe in, the grid on the screen is limited in size and eventually you will get stuck. At this point you'll want to press the fast forward button. It makes the flooz move faster, but you can still build if you want to, and each pipe filled during fast forward is worth double points.
The best way to build up to higher scores in Pipe Dream is to practice, as the random factor of the game (not knowing where the start piece will be on each level, not knowing what pipes will be given to be placed) prevents anything more from simple, general advice from being given; the best of which is simply to plan ahead. Tetris only allowed a one-piece preview, and some players even went without it, but this will not work for Pipe Dream. If you want to build a longer pipeline, you must be aware of what is coming up at all times.
Of course, it is also important not to get too caught up in building ahead. Keep an eye on the flooz and how far it's gone, as it's easy to make a stupid mistake and forget to put in a pipe segment. More mistakes will probably be made by clicking the wrong square in the grid, of course, but when this happens, don't hestitate to replace a badly-placed piece of pipe. It's better to take a few 50 point penalties then to have unused pieces remaining at the end and get smacked for 100 a piece.
And of course, whatever you do... don't panic.