Peggle Deluxe Reader Review
Peggle is one of the latest games from casual games makers PopCap. This sentence would be cause enough for most "gamers" to stop reading, the term casual games making them switch back to counterstrike or World of Warcraft. Hang on though because the makers of Peggle might have hit the jackpot.
Peggle or to give it its proper name Peggle Deluxe is a hard game to describe. The best way I have come up with is a cross between the arcade classic breakout and the Japanese Pachinko machines. Pachinko because you aim and fire a ball to light up multi coloured pegs and breakout because those pegs disappear after you light them up. Also a moving bucket at the bottom of the screen will catch the ball if the ball falls in, however since you have no control of the bucket you have to either pray it goes in or carefully aim your shots. With your metal ball you have to aim your trajectory and fire you ball to take out the blue balls but most importantly the orange balls. If you take out all the orange balls the level ends but if you take out all the blue and orange balls you get more points.
One of the best aspects of Peggle is the sound, it will react to how you are playing the game. The sound of hitting the pegs get higher when you hit more and more in succession building up your score meter on the side of the screen and when that fill the sound of angles wooing plays and you get a free ball. This adds excitement and is a nice way of adding to the immersion of the game.
The use of classical music in this game adds to the fantasy design of the game and is one of the best features of the game. For example when you are down to the last peg and your ball is going to hit it the game will zoom in on it and once it hits will play Beethoven's "Ode to the Joy". This may sound weird but when playing the game it cant help but put a smile on your face. Overall the music is implemented very well.
The main adventure mode of the game progress with sets of levels made by the 10 Peggle masters, each Peggle master is an animal of sorts such as Bjorn the Unicorn and Master Wu the owl. As well as comic relief they also teach you a power which you will use during their levels and which can be used during any level once the main adventure is finished. The powers range from multi ball to pinball like flippers bottom of the screen and they do well to add variance to the game. However only a few of the ten powers are very useful in the pursuit of a high score and I think a little more diverse powers would have given the game more options in the way to play.
The graphics of the game are very simple and colourful. The fantasy look and design of the game may have some people think this is a game design solely for children but they would be wrong. Having said that the whole fantasy design is a little "out there2 and might put some people off the game and its a shame as it does grow on you. Personally I would have like to see the menus and graphics sharpened a little as the game does have a few rough edges around buttons and some shapes. However this is nit picking and for the $20 I paid for it I think that the graphics are of ok quality. Maybe if this way a full price game I would have more to say on it.
Whilst some games focus on graphics leaving the game play and core mechanics of the game to last Peggle is one of those games that the whole experience is built around the game play. Sure the sound design is very good but when you play this game you would not care if the pegs were simply 2d and it was in black and white because the game is built around the game play and for that I applaud the designers of this game.
Peggle is a hybrid game, on one hand it is the perfect 5 minuted relaxation game to relieve stress and on the other hand it can become a addiction trying to beat your high scores. I think that this game has a depth seen only in the very best of games, it is fun to play for five minutes or five hours and it is this aspect that makes me like this game so much. However I think that this game can put people off with its overall graphical design and that disappoints me so much. I think that this games stands on its own for me as one of the few truly great casual games and I hope that developers take the time and put the same amount of effort that has gone into this game for future casual games.
9 / 10