It's not often that you run into a PC gaming program that becomes more rewarding and fun the longer you play it, but that's exactly the case with Pinball Builder - provided you're patient enough to learn the ins and outs of this versatile program.
Now, that last sentence isn't meant to imply you can't start enjoying Pinball Builder as soon as you install it. Nine playable tables (all can be played in Windows or DOS) are included with the game, so you can try a few rounds to get your creative juices flowing before you get to the heart of the program: the Workshop.
You've got two choices when creating your own table: build one essentially from scratch, or modify one of the tables that comes with the game. I say "essentially from scratch" because there are certain design parameters you don't have any control over - flippers, ramps, and side-guards are already in place. Fortunately, there are 32 table templates to choose from, so finding one that suits your tastes shouldn't be a problem.
Don't care for the background graphics on a table? No problem - import a PCX or BMP image of your choosing to replace it. Adding a new object or modifying the appearance of an existing one is simple thanks to the game's Graphics Editor, which lets you crop an existing graphic in the shape of kickers, bumpers, lamps, and other objects and add it to the program's already extensive object library. And once an object's been placed on the table you can change its properties (what happens when you hit it), from number of points, awards, and sound effects, to mirroring and rotating a graphic.