Peggle

The classic pinball concept of projecting a ball into a maze of obstacles, bouncy buzzers, traps, ramps, springs and more, controlled only by flimsy flippers guarding the edges of the exit, may not sound suited to an advanced console like Playstation 3. In a world where you can embark on great adventures with the likes of Nathan Drake, why would bouncing a ball around a confined screen seem fun? In truth, the answer isn't clear, but the fact remains that there's a lot of fun to be had with such stuff, and Peggle evolves the concept slightly, providing an addictive new puzzler with a quirky sense of humour.

Peggle

In the main adventure mode, you undergo training from a series of Peggle instructors, each granting a special ability for you to use in your quest. The pinball-style concept is straightforward: from the top of the screen, take aim and release a ball in the desired direction. If it reaches the bottom of the screen and falls into the gap, that ball is lost and a new one must be used. The aim of the game, for the core adventure at least, is to hit all of the orange pegs (causing any that are hit to disappear at the end of the turn) without running out of balls. Things aren't quite that noddy though, since there's ways to gain extra balls (being caught in a special basket at the bottom, achieving a particularly high score, that sort of thing) and special pegs allowing the use of special moves.

Even with specials, ranging from exploding balls to zen-enhancing nudges, there's little to do tactically, beyond aim and shoot, but perhaps it's easy to see why there's still challenges to overcome, given the struggle so many men have in achieving the very same feat on a daily basis. Attempting to predict a balls path is almost impossible in most circumstances, but the destination can certainly be influenced, especially as the number of pegs is depleted. What results is a game that relies largely on luck, but lends itself very well to letting you believe that any great manoeuvre, no matter how flukey, was obviously some master plan that you had stashed away.

Peggle

There's more than just the adventure to overcome too. Players will also be invited to a long series of challenges, following the completion of the main story, with objectives including particular point scores or finishes where the entire board is cleared of every peg, no matter what the colour. There's more than just challenges though, thanks to the inclusion of a multiplayer mode. Though the sense of progression isn't there, with no cooperative mode present, the competitive side of things, online or off, is highly entertaining, particularly since it's so accessible. You don't need to have had hours of practise to be able to pick up the controller and give Peggle a try.

The game also looks quite pretty too, which helps the bizarre attraction to this simple game. Bright colours and comic characters, not to mention the utterly daft messages that appear, all add to a genuinely funny piece of entertainment. Though there's no real voicework to speak of, the music is good fun, steering nicely clear of being repetitive, and the sound effects are suitably over the top. It wouldn't win any awards, but it's great fun, and that sums up Peggle overall really. A mysteriously simple concept, requiring very little gaming experience is somehow a highly enjoyable addition to the Playstation Store. You have to feel sorry for the games that were apparently trying too hard and, in doing so, missed out on the potential glory of keeping things simple, but fun.

Game details

Game logo

Publisher:

Sony

Developer:

PopCap Games

Players:

1-2

Online:

2-4

Release:

2010-02-27

Trophies:

15

Review summary

Gameplay:

A simple concept, but highly enjoyable

Graphics:

Bright, dazzling, vibrant and often bonkers

Sound:

Entertaining music and comic effects

Lastability:

Loads of challenges and puzzles to clear

7.8

Volcanic

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User comments

MeteorStorm Random Quote Picker

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Otacon

Hold it, Snake. Time to change the disc. I know, I know. It's a pain, but you need to swap Disc 1 for Disc 2. You see the disc labelled 2?

Solid Snake

Uhh... No.

Otacon

Huh? Oh, wait! We're on Playstation 3! It's a Blu-Ray Disc. Dual-layered too. No need to swap.