Game

Powershot Pinball Constructor

This DS pinball title adds an intriguing twist to the classic arcade game: the ability to create your own tables.

Overview

Powershot Pinball Constructor is a take on the popular arcade pinball game, released for the DS on January 24, 2008 in Australia and March 28, 2008 in Europe. The main selling point is the feature for players to create their own pinball tables and then share them with friends (as advertised in the tagline, "Play it. Create it. Share it."). The game had a quiet release, with barely any promotion or hype besides the odd interview, and wasn't covered extensively at all by media outlets as a result. However, it was panned by those who got their hands and reviewed it. 
 

Gameplay

The objective in games is to attain high scores with a limited number of balls. Three single-player modes are included: Score Mode, Time Attack, and Stylus Mode. Time Attack gives players a time limit to post the highest score possible, unlike Score Mode, in which there is no time limit and where games last until all lives are lost. Stylus Mode is the equivalent to Score Mode, but has the twist of forcing players to control the flippers by poking them with a stylus instead of using the shoulder buttons. There are also three multiplayer modes: Versus Mode, Tournament Mode, and Team Battle Mode.

Three tables are included in this game, one of which is unlocked at the start. These feature the usual array of bumpers, score multipliers, and chutes that are present in more conventional pinball interpretations. Players can also build custom tables with the construction editor using the stylus to place items, though the size and the shape of the tables cannot be manually altered with only a limited number of presets to choose from. Created tables can be tested at any time before saved, and can be played in the main game modes.

Graphics

Initially, the development team wanted to implement the core game in 3D, but due to hardware constraints, the team was dissatisfied with the end result. They then redid everything in 2D, before touching it up with 3D-looking graphics.

Reception

Upon its release, limited reception towards the title was overwhelmingly negative, with reviews specifically criticising it for the lack of customisation available during the table creation process. For example, only three bumpers can be placed in one pinball table. The Stylus Mode was also the target of negative comments as it was called redundant. Reviews cited that the stylus was nowhere near as intuitive as using the shoulder buttons.