Peggle «

For a game starring a talking unicorn, the most surprising thing about Peggle is the value. At only five bucks, the iPod version of Peggle offers an absurd amount of gameplay for very little cash. A hybrid puzzle game/shooter, Peggle contains 55 adventure-game levels and 75 challenges, which add up to many, many hours of enjoyment. Although some of the PC version’s precision is missing and the fast-paced action might slow down a bit too much on the iPod, Peggle is still a fantastic game and a must-buy.

Peggle starts simply, but it grows much more complex as the layout of each board changes with every bouncing ball. Using the Click Wheel, you aim and launch tiny balls into boards of intricately designed pegs and bricks. The balls bounce and ricochet with realistic weight and physics, and the pegs disappear after they’ve been hit. Orange pegs are essential for clearing a level, purple pegs give you point boosts, and green pegs give you bonus abilities like pinball flippers, multiballs, and minor explosions that can take out nearby pegs.

 

 

The trick to beating Peggle is in understanding the seemingly random element to the frenzied action, and with practice you can learn to anticipate the results of each shot. Peggle also offers a ton of point-raking tricks, like long shots and slides, as you hold your breath and watch the impressive physics take over after launching the ball.

The colorful art style is similarly sublime, with a Zen-barnyard aesthetic featuring mystic dogs, frogs, and other animals. Your spirit-animal trainers in Adventure mode teach you how to make the most out of each bonus ability, and by the time you’re ready to take on the Challenge missions, you’ll feel confident pulling off complex peg-clearing tricks and point grabs.

It’s hard to find fault with a game so accessible, appealing, and replayable. The PC version offers greater precision, flashier graphics, and doesn’t slow down for a second, but you can have nearly the exact same experience on the iPod for half the price. Peggle is one of those rare games that reaches beyond the normal audience, sucking in casual players as well as people who would ordinarily never go near a videogame. But even for hardcore leaderboard-types who pride themselves on accuracy and megacombos, Peggle is an amazingly satisfying, pitch-perfect game.

Played on a fifth-generation iPod

 

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