Peggle combines some of the most popular aspects of Pachinko and casual puzzle games and the result is an irresistible package that will keep you glued to the screen for hours on end.
Peggle is one of those games that’s difficult to explain, but easy to understand once you start playing. For those unfamiliar, Peggle blends some of the most popular aspects of Pachinko and casual puzzle games and the result is an irresistible package that will keep you glued to the screen for hours on end.
In the game, you shoot a limited number of balls and the objective is to hit all the orange pegs in the level to clear it. The action is remarkably simple, but little by little, the game starts introducing new concepts and mechanics. None of these mechanics are convoluted and that’s what makes the game so rewarding and entertaining: its little touches. For instance, when you’re about to touch the last orange peg in a level, the camera zooms in and if you succeed, everything slows down, classical music starts playing, fireworks appear and you have the chance to earn more points in an engaging mini game.
There are different types of pegs to take into account. I already mentioned the orange ones, but there are also green pegs, which activate special abilities (more on this in a second,) blue pegs are worth points and purple pegs reward you with even more points. Apart from the orange pegs (which you need to hit to win the level,) the most important pegs are the green ones which give you access to special abilities. These powers vary according to the level you’re playing and range from an ability that lets you see the direction in which the ball will go once you’ve hit the first peg, a ball that immediately reappears on top of the screen once it falls, a large pyramid that will make it harder for the ball to fall and so on and so forth. Without these abilities, most levels would be nearly impossible, so understanding what they do and mastering them is a must if you want to succeed.
Needless to say, the entire game would be ruined if it didn’t have precise physics and immensely rewarding controls. Taking the time to carefully aim your shots and trying to tell where the ball is going to go after it hits the first peg is what makes the game so entertaining. Without warning, Peggle suddenly reveals a level of strategy that most players weren’t expecting and that’s the beauty of the game: you can play for a few minutes or for hours, but whatever you decide to do, you’ll have fun. The best part about the physics is that they allow for different playstyles. Do you take your time before each shot or do you play carelessly? Do you use that ability now or do you wait a couple of turns? Either way works and while thinking before taking each shot is the most effective approach, you’ll have a great time regardless.
By now, you probably noticed that this version of the game has Deluxe in its title and that’s because it has a bunch of extra modes and levels. Apart from the 55 levels of the adventure mode, there’s quick play where you have access to individual levels you’ve already beaten. There’s also a multiplayer mode (where you can compete against the CPU or a friend) and challenge mode (where you try to complete 75 challenges.)
In challenge mode, you complete levels by fulfilling different objectives (hitting a specific number of orange peg, scoring a specific number of points, clearing all pegs, beating a computer opponent in dual-mode and so on.) As its name suggests, the mode quickly becomes challenging and to beat some of the latter levels, you’ll need to make use of all the strategies you’ve developed up until that point. Fortunately, you can use any Peggle Master you want during these levels, but experimenting with different ones is necessary sometimes.
Peggle Deluxe has a rock solid gameplay, eminently satisfying mechanics, an entertaining premise, colorful visuals and terrific sound design. Nevertheless, my favorite part about the game is that it can be enjoyed by avid video games players or those people who play games more casually. But no matter who you are, be careful because this is definitely one of those games that’s easy to pick up and hard to put down. I’d warn you, but I want to finish this review to play more Peggle.