Mixing the connect-the-dots-style gameplay of Pipe Dream with Tetris falling well pieces, Powertris has a cool concept but a bare presentation. To be fair though, it only costs a few bucks.
The goal is to connect specific points from the left side of the well to specific points on the right side of the well. The longer and more complex the pipe chain, the more points are awarded. There is a very basic “how to play” option found on the main menu but it is only composed a few screenshots with little text. I didn’t fully understand gameplay until I played a couple rounds of trial and error. Once you get the hang of it, it is fun to snake pipes in elaborate ways to create chains. However, the slow pace of play, the generic one music track, and lack of any options makes the experience tolerable for about 5-10 minutes at a time.
Strictly a single-player only experience with only one mode of play, there are literally zero options to keep replay value low. Even the visual presentation is empty, composed of basic colors placed on basic shapes. There is a local leaderboard that keeps track of a handful of high scores but that is it – you cannot even input initials to define which high score is yours. There is no multiplayer, no unlockables, and there isn’t even an options screen. The only “options” that are available are assigned to the shoulder buttons; tapping one will turn on/off the music or sound effects at any time. There are three power-up items that randomly fall in place of pipe pieces, but they are mostly there to help unstuck the player as opposed to add entertainment value. Unlike Tetris, Dr. Mario, or Puyo Puyo, if you make a mistake, there really isn’t a good way to fix your work.
As it is presented, Powertris has a nice foundation but feels like a demo on a PlayStation Magazine demo disc. You can have a moment of fun but there is no staying power to entice or hook the player.
Also Try: Virtual Lab (Virtual Boy)
Also Play: the 7the world in Super Mario Bros. 3 (NES)
Wait For It: to go on one of those extreme eShop sales for like $0.09.