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Peggle

Peggle

February 27, 2007
Developer:
Publisher:

Video Game Cat Review

Date of Review: August 4, 2012
Website: popcap.com/games/peggle/pc
Format Reviewed: PC
Language / Country of Origin: English / USA
Online Capability: None for the PC version; the 360 edition can pit you against other players online, though.
Series/Sequel: Peggle Nights was released in September 2008. There have also been Portal and World of Warcraft mini versions of the game made.
Equipment Needed:
Windows 2000 or higher, 600 Mhz processing power, 128MB RAM, DirectX 6.0, 21MB memory.
Maintenance Required: None required.

Review:
What do pinball, Plinko and Pachinko have in common? They’re all elements you’ll find in the amazingly addictive arcade pursuit, Peggle. Don’t let the cutesy characters and over-the-top rainbows fool you; Peggle is not a kid’s game, per se.

The objective of Peggle is seemingly simple (point and shoot a metal pinball in order to ricochet it off of orange bricks and pegs), but much more involved once you take a closer look. You have a limited number of balls to shoot and are much at the mercy of the laws of physics when it comes to exactly how your ball will travel. There are a disproportionate amount of blue pegs compared to orange ones, often trapping needed orange orbs in clusters that will take several hits to break through. While the interesting design of each individual level is always the same, the peg placement is random, which adds to the challenge if you have to restart.

What makes Peggle so fun is all of the other little elements that are tucked into the gameplay. There are 10 different creatures – each with their own superpower – to aide you in making awesome shots. My favorite is Renfield the Pumpkin’s “Spookyball”,  which is basically a bonus ball that will fall from the same side of the screen as your previous ball left it, as if a ghost. It comes equipped with an eerie sound and usually results in massive points. Claude’s Flippers, Lord Cinderbottom’s fire breath and Master Hu’s “perfecting” shots are also impressive.

You score bonuses for shooting stylish shots, having your ball land in the roaming bucket, etc. Racking up a lot of points is key to being awarded free balls so you don’t run out. There is actually a science to this that involves hitting lots of blue pegs first along with the sole, warping purple peg to amp up your score multiplier before you go for the orange targets, which are worth more.

Everything is great about Peggle, from the graphics to the clever characters and yes, even the ridiculous Beethoven score that blasts when you beat a level. Fortunately, there’s no time limit on any of the levels, so you can really go slow and master your moves.

Plot:
N/A.

Gameplay:
Use your mouse to aim, adjust and shoot.

Cultural / Historical Value:
Peggle is a classic PopCap game that’s been popular enough to warrant coming out for just about every device under the sun.  Peggle has topped several lists, such as MSNBC’s “Top 5 most addictive computer games of all time” and IGN’s “10th best Xbox Live Arcade game of all time”.

Teaching / Learning Characteristics:

A heavy dose of trial and error is needed to get through the levels as well as some strategy in terms of which character you choose, where you make your shots, etc.

Replay Value:
A game with great value. Not only does Peggle come with additional challenges outside the main story mode, but it’s a game you’ll still feel like playing on a rainy afternoon several years in the future. It’s like Solitaire; you’re never “done” with it.

Likely Audiences:
Even gamers who describe themselves as hardcore will have a soft spot for Peggle. Kids can play it, too, although serious mastery of it is more up an adult’s alley.

Overall Score:
100/100

Other Reviews:
1up.com
Gamerankings
Gamespot
Metacritic
MobyGames

Awards

Award Giver Category Verdict
Game Developers Choice Awards 2008Best Downloadable Game Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2008Best Handheld Game Nominee
Interactive Achievement Awards 2008Downloadable Game of the Year Nominee
Game Developers Choice Awards 2008Innovation Award Nominee
Golden Joystick Awards 2009Mobile Game of the Year Nominee

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