Review: Peggle

Table of Contents

Quick Info

Gore & Brutality Magic Sex Civility Religious Objections
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Additional Notes

Summary of major issues
The Peggle Masters are a mixed group of magical creatures, including a dragon, a unicorn and a talking flower. Beyond this, there are occasional references to new age mysticism, such as Master Hu's frequent Zen-related comments.

Screenshots


I mustache you a question


Now with moving rods to block your shots


Illuminati Confirmed

General Information

Genre:PuzzleAge Rating:Everyone (Ages 3+)
License:CommercialQuality Rating:Good
Played on:Martha
Available from: Gamer's Gate, Origin, Steam
Save System:If you need to quit or simply pause the game, click on the menu button in the lower left. The game is paused while the menu is up, and you can save and exit the game from here. When you return to it later, you'll be given the option of continuing from where you left off, or restarting the last level you where playing.

Game Overview

Peggle is a surprisingly tricky to classify. It's not really an Action game, nor is it really a Puzzle game; instead, it's something in-between. The basic premise is extremely simple: you fire a marble out of a cannon in an attempt to get the marble to bounce off of as many red colored pegs and bricks as possible. When everything red has been cleared from the board, you've beaten the level. Arcades in some parts of the world (notably Japan) feature a similar game called Pachinko, though Peggle completely omits any sort of gambling features.

You're also not alone as you're playing this game. The Peggle Masters -- a loose collection of talking animals and fantasy creatures that love the game -- will be accompanying you. When you clear a green peg or block, their special ability comes into play, often making it easier to clear sections of the board or beat the level.

For a game created from such a simple concept, it's really a lot of fun and pretty challenging. Plus, it's kid friendly and colorful. Not a bad deal for a few dollars!

If you like this game, also check out the sequel, Peggle Nights, which gives you another set of levels and challenges to overcome!

Pros

The Peggle Masters don't just sit there
Between levels, the various characters share a few words with the player. These are often hints about how to get the most out of their respective abilities, but they sometimes talk about other things that interest them.

Additionally, they watch the action from a window at the top of the play area. Unlike a lot of games, these portraits actually move around, following the action below with their eyes.


Fancy graphics that don't tax your computer
Each level features a unique and detailed background image. These images often reflect how the bricks and pegs are placed in the level, and sometimes they have cameos of characters from other Popcap titles hidden in them. For example, Lex from Bookworm appears in a few spots.

Then there are the many different special effects, including sparkles and rainbows when the Extreme Fever Mode has been enabled at the end of the level.


Many challenges, but nothing unforgiving
If you don't manage to clear a level, you're not penalized in any way. Instead, you're just prompted to try again. Should you want to try something more difficult, there is a challenge mode where you can attempt some unusually hard levels.


New Game Plus
After completing every level in the campaign, you can do it all over again with every Peggle Master unlocked. In this mode, each level lets you pick which Master will be assisting you. Additionally, each of the Peggle Masters will have new lines for their intermission screens!


Cons

No real drawbacks
Peggle is one of those games were there aren't any obvious problems. The game runs smoothly, is a reasonable price, and has plenty of things to do to keep players entertained. What more could you ask for?


Concerns and Issues

A multitude of magical creatures
The colorful cast of Peggle Masters includes a large spectrum of creatures like a unicorn, an alien, a talking flower, a jack-o-lantern and a dragon. Magical creatures, such as a fairy and some ghosts, can be seen hanging around in the backgrounds too. None of these are threatening or even remotely scary, but if you don't like fantastic creatures, you might want to give this game a pass.


There's a reference to gambling
Pachinko machines are often used in gambling, but while Peggle is similar to these machines, it's actually one of the Peggle Masters that makes a direct reference to gambling. Warren Rabbit likes taking risks in games of chance. One of his later comments is about how sometimes things don't work out, resulting in you end owing people a lot of money -- which makes him wonder if he should rethink things a little.


New Age Mysticism is referenced at points
Master Hu's many Zen references and his Zen Ball ability are probably the most obvious examples, but some of the backgrounds include characters meditating or specific symbols like a depiction of the All Seeing Eye (see the third screenshot above), which seem oddly out of place in a game like this.