Thursday, August 2, 2007


Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
Release Date: Feb. 27, 2007
System: PC
Official Web site

In a nutshell: Super-happy Pachinko.

0:01 Bubbly music and a smiling sunrise introduce the game. My teeth start to hurt from the saccharine sweetness of it all.
0:02 The "Peggle Institute" asks your name for a Certificate of Admission. Cute!
0:03 "Hit orange pegs to win. You have ten shots." I can't remember the last game I played with such basic instructions.
0:04 I hit five orange balls with my first shot and luck into a free ball when I land in a moving bucket at the bottom. Beginner's luck?
0:05 I get bonus points for a "long shot" ricochet that I hadn't planned. As far as I can tell, I have no control over the ball after the initial shot... it just bounces based on gravity and the angle of the pegs. It's mesmerizing to watch, but hard to plan, so far.
0:06 Upon hitting the last orange peg, the action gets super slow-mo, the camera zooms in, and fireworks effects trail the ball while Ode to Joy plays in the background. You'd think I crowned a new pope or something! Bonus points for completing the level on the first try is a nice touch.
0:09 I complete level two with one ball in reserve. I'm still finding it hard to plan ahead past the initial bounce. I keep ending up with random clusters of bricks separated by a whole screen by the end of the level.
0:11 A Super Guide bonus shows where the ball will go on the first bounce. Helpful, but not excessively so... I'm more concerned about here it goes after that, which I only have a vague idea about usually. I like the ability to fine tune shots with the mouse wheel, though.
0:13 I get bonus style points for an extreme slide. A unicorn pops up and says I have "Mad skillz!" LOLZ!
0:14 If you get enough points in a single shot, you get a bonus ball. Nice.
0:21 There's an inherent conflict between going for points and going for the orange pegs to finishing the level. I like it.
0:26 I fail for the first time on level four. On my last ball I had one orange peg left, but other pegs were in the way. Gotta plan ahead.
0:29 My best strategy so far seem to be aiming for a dense cluster of pegs and hoping for the best. It's worked all right so far.
0:30 I actually aim for a ricochet from an orange to a purple across the screen. And I get it! Feeling very skillful right now.
0:31 I get a drum roll and a zoom as I get near the last orange peg, then an "Awww" sound effect as I just miss. I love it!
0:32 Next up is Jimmy Lightning the squirrel. He introduces a multiball power-up. MULTIBALL! BLERRRRRRRN!.
0:33 My first shot on the squirrel levels gets a multiball gets an extra ball frenzy and another "Mad skillz." There's absolutely no skill on my part this time. I get style points and even though I have no idea how I got style.
0:36 Despite the simple concept, there's some fine control needed for this game. Being off just a little in your aim can totally throw off a ricochet.
0:37 I like that the game is smart enough to identify a lucky bounce, and that it's nice enough to give me points for it.
0:39 The ascending chimes as you hit more pegs are a nice touch. The presentation is really top notch.
0:40 In another insanely lucky shot I get a triple multiball and earn two extra balls. On the one hand, it's annoying having no idea how I caused these amazing shots. On the other hand, it's awesome to watch the insane chain reactions I've caused.
0:47 New stage, new bonus. Kat Tut Is going to give me pyramid power. "It's subtle, but it can really help you out." I like subtlety.
0:50 It's not as subtle as the anthropomorphic Egyptian cat indicated. In reality it just makes getting free balls really easy. Not that I'm complaining.
0:52 I think I've gotten over the fact that this game requires minimal skill and just accepted that the randomness is what makes it so endearing.
0:55 "I once though nothing could beat playing with a ball of yarn, but Peggle tops it." Dude, I'm already playing the game. I don't need an ad for the game inside the game.
1:00 I can do no wrong this game. I get extra ball after extra ball and finish with 100% completion badge. I feel like I accomplished something but really it was mostly luck.

Would I play this game for more than an hour? Definitely.
Why? It's a mesmerizing, if not very challenging. A great game to play with the TV on in the background.

This review based on a Deluxe version provided by PopCap.

1 comment:

Chris Pereira said...

Bless you for praising Peggle. I've been championing the game for a while now, and I'm praying for an Xbox Live Arcade release. It's just a perfect fit.

Oh, and for those that might buy it -- it's only $10 on Steam. A real steal, with all there is to it.