Peggle (Review)

Old news for PC and 360 gamers, but Peggle has finally made its way to PS3 via the PSN service. If you enjoyed PopCap’s other games like Bejeweled 2 and Zuma then there’s every chance you’ll love this too.

The aim is to rid the screen of all the orange Pegs. You do this by shooting a ball at an angle from the top the screen, then simply sitting back and letting gravity take care of the rest as the ball bounces of walls and blue and orange Pegs. Pegs light up when touched and disappear a few seconds later, longer if the ball is still pinging around lots.  Eventually the ball falls to the bottom of the screen, either into a hole or into a moving bucket which lets you use the ball again. You get ten balls to clear all the orange Pegs out, but more balls can be earned by saving them at the bottom or racking up a large combo by bouncing off lots of pegs. Once the last orange Peg has been hit the ball lands in one of five pits for an extra score bonus.

What makes Peggle so different from most puzzle games is how you don’t really have a lot of control over the ball. Once you’ve launched it, you watch it run its course in eager anticipation and hope.

This on its own would get boring pretty quick so each character that you’re given in turn for a few levels each during the Adventure mode has their own unique talent that you can activate by hitting a green Peg. This could be altering the trajectory of the first bounce in advance for a few shots. Or maybe the green Peg will act like a bomb destroying nearby Pegs. A later one adjusts your next shot to the best angle to get the most hits on the way down. A large fireball is a handy one for clearing a straight line too. The only one that requires you to do something after the ball has been fired is the lobster flippers which put pinball-style flippers at the sides for you to flick the ball back up for more.

Peggle (PSN Review)

Generally though it’s quite a relaxing game to play and makes a nice change from the usual frantic re-arranging of Bejeweled or the quick aim and fire of Zuma. There’s not even a bonus for finishing levels quickly, so relax, have fun with it.

The main Adventure game has 55 levels and after that you’ll want to check out the 75 challenges which are tougher levels with you aiming for a high-score or a larger number of orange Pegs. Master Dual is where you can face off against any of the game’s characters by taking turns on a single map to get the highest score.

If you can find anyone online to play against there are similar dual options for multiplayer, but you can play locally too. If you’re still desperate for more, there’s already an expansion pack out calledPeggle Nights. You can even get the Nights pack on PC for free at the moment. Have a look atNeil’s article for more information.

Pros

  • Totally addictive gameplay
  • Plenty of levels
  • Nailing a double shot with your last ball and landing in the 100,000 point bucket. Absolute win.

Cons

  • May frustrate players who want more constant control
  • Online servers a little barren
  • We’re already late for work

The Short Version: Does what PopCap Games do best; steal the nights from underneath you. You know when they’ve nailed it again when you sit down for a quick game and don’t move for three hours. The gameplay is pleasantly relaxing for a change too.

8/10

Platforms: PS3 (Reviewed)/360/PC
Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment

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