Peggle peggle peggle, peggle… peggle. Oh wait, that’s not words is it? That’s just me saying Peggle over and over. This is problem with Peggle. You may find it hard to locate many reviews of the game for the same reason as you won’t find many reviews of crack cocaine or what it’s like to fire yourself into space. Once you’ve played Peggle, you’re gone, lost to the world. You’re in an ecstasy so utterly consuming and sublime, the feeling of drowning in warm butterscotch oozes over you and there’s no way back. Peggle is a nonpareil example of addictive, super simplistic gaming.

Peggle’s is based on Pachinko machines, a kind of flipperless pinball. Pachinko parlours are hugely popular in Japan. A ball is fired and must hit as many pins as possible before falling away into the trap below. It’s extremely straight forward and requires little skill and this of course is the basis for its popularity. Like Uno, Peggle is a game where chance plays a far higher part than skill in the outcome of any round. With both games you could play with your eyes shut and still do very well. Dave Jones, creator of the Grand Theft Auto series expounded the theory that you should be able to play a game with one button. The use of any further buttons should require great justification before implementation by a developer. Peggle epitomises the theory in practice. Pick an angle, press fire and then watch your ball bounce around. The entire time it bounces you’ll be willing it with your mind, you’ll be praising yourself for a lucky hit and chastising yourself for a poor shot despite having almost no control over what is happening.

As your ball does its thing you’ll want it to touch as many orange pins as possible. Once these have been tagged and disappear the level is finished and you’ll move on to another with a different patter of pins. Blue pins get in the way, don’t earn you many points and use up your balls. Purple ones give a point boost. Green ones allow you a special power such as showing your line of trajectory or giving you a multiball. These special moves get more complex as you work your way through the levels. Specials such as Zen ball, where your angle will be adjusted to maximize your shot, or Fireball, where you’ll cut straight through the pins instead of bouncing off them, help you complete the later more taxing levels.

As well as the expected Arcade mode and Quickplay, you’ll be able to play on Live in a two player Duel or with three friends in Party Mode – effectively a ball bouncing chat room. This type of relaxed group play has proved hugely popular on Live with games such as Marble Blast Ultra, Uno, and Texas Hold ‘Em. Those who’ve already lost their lives to Peggle on their PC years back won’t get much more out the the XBLA version but it’s good to note that the console title does live up to it’s older brother and the addition of multiplayer could prove tempting to those who managed to kick their terrible addiction long ago.

Peggle is genius. There is a marmite element here though. Not everyone is drawn to simple games of chance there are some weird individuals out there that actually require challange, complexity, motivation and narrative to enjoy a game. The majority of us norms though could starve to death, unable to stop Peggling for long enough to eat or drink. On this basis I must recommend that you don’t buy Peggle. Save yourselves, think of your families, your career, fresh air. Are you really willing to give all these up for a tiny bouncy ball? You are? Fair enough. See you on Live for a Peggle tonight?







12 responses to “Peggle”

  1.  avatar

    People can get addicted to Peggle? Gawd that’s sad..

    *hums Ode To Joy*

    Back in a sec, just have to.. umm.. check something on Live..


  2. Darach avatar

    Peggle. Peggle peggle peggle.

  3. Ben avatar

    It’s what Live Arcade is made for in my opinion. Games like this where you can pick them up, play for 10-15minutes then go back to doing whatever it is you were doing.

  4. Tony avatar

    This is weird. This is the glowingest (if that was a word) review of a game I’ve ever read… and it doesn’t make it me want to play it one bit.

    The game seems to be on a par with Noel Edmond’s pointless box opening game for utter pointlessness.

    Mind you, you could argue that about crack.

    *off to find a dealer*

  5. Jake avatar

    Tony, Tony, Tony… get the demo… play a level, you’ll want to have one more go. It’s brilliant. It’s making my review of Crystal Defenders hard to do as well because somehow Peggle keeps loading. It’s very strange :p

  6. Jake avatar

    And is it wrong to like the fact that it says “Loading Rainbows” and the like as the game loads. It says something about bounciness and sparkles as well. It’s very cleverly done methinks.

  7. Laura avatar

    This is the peggliest review I have ever peggled! Really peggled peggling it! 🙂

  8. Libi avatar

    Jake I love the loading screen!

    “doing computery stuff”

  9. Jake avatar

    “hope this works” and “creating awesomeness” are two other brilliant loaders 🙂

  10. Cadman avatar

    Hi friends, free download 50 PopCap Games (Deluxe) and new games update on March at lamphunengineer{dot}com

  11. Carole avatar

    Loving the Peggle! not sure if I love the game most or the fact as a ‘non gamer’ I have beaten Jakes score on half the levels?

  12. Barrett Rizor avatar

    Very interesting blog post thanks for writing it I just added your blog to my favorites and will be back.

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