“For fans of Breakout, Pinball and Puzzle Bobble, this is as good as it gets.”
In 2007, PopCap released a little puzzle game that borrowed gameplay elements from several other popular games. This game would come to be known as Peggle, and would be ported to various consoles over time and, in 2008, spawned a sequel called Peggle Nights.
Rather than just reviewing the original Peggle or the sequel, or even any specific version, I’m reviewing every Peggle game instead because, face it, there are very few differences between any of them. Peggle Nights barely even changed from the first game, but that’s not really a bad thing.
So, what is this “Peggle” all about? Well, it’s all about aiming a ball 180 degrees (half a circle) and firing it at coloured pegs. It sounds really simplistic, and it usually is. Simplicity does not equal easy, however.
There are two pegs, blue and orange. Blue pegs are more plentiful and increase your score exponentially. Orange pegs are not as plentiful, and this is because in order to clear a level, you have to shoot and destroy every orange peg.
There are two additional “special” pegs as well. The yellow pegs grant you special abilities and the purple pegs increases the points you will receive for hitting every other peg on the same shot.
Regarding special abilities, what you can use depends on the “animal helper” that you have. If you are playing adventure mode, then you are assigned a different one every ten levels, but if you are playing any other game mode than you can manually choose who to use. These animal chracters don’t serve a lot of purpose other than to give you a different looking avatar at the top of the screen and to grant you different power ups. The unicorn’s special will grant you super precise aiming while the dragon’s special replaces your regular ball with a fireball which demolishes every peg in it’s path.
Levels start out easy, but after clearing about twenty or thirty, the difficulty will jump up significantly. Peggle never gets so hard that you’ll have any rage quits or anything, but it can be difficult enough to challenge you a great deal and make you complain that your shot “shouldn’t have gone there” or “should have hit that peg” and so forth.
That reminds me of the physics. They are quite unpredictable in Peggle, even more than you’ll find in any Pinball game. In order to plot where the ball will go, you will have to stare long and hard at the screen. This isn’t very fun and, like most people, you’ll probably just take whatever shots look best without analyzing the trajectory of the ball too much.
Peggle really shines in multiplayer modes, which I think may only be in the console versions. Essentially, the person who ends up with a higher score will win the level. This means that the person who destroys all orange pegs won’t necessarily be the winner. A little bit of strategy is involved, and it’s good fun.
As I said in the header, anyone who likes Breakout, Pinball, or Puzzle Bobble should enjoy Peggle quite a lot. This game will appeal to many others though, considering the fact that it is a PopCap game. Go over to their website and download a free demo of whatever Peggle game you happen across first if you have never done so. Peggle is quite fun and should be enjoyable to almost everybody.