The folks at PopCap games have created something disturbingly accomplished with Peggle. While the saccharine presentation that you’re greeted by at the loading screen may give you the impression that this is a game suitable for the whole family, looks, as is often said, can be shockingly deceiving. You see, they’ve perfected something that two of the most heinous vices have been trying to do for centuries.
On the one hand, they’ve peerlessly refined the distilling process. They’ve taken what it is that essentially makes gaming fun, put it through some sort of intricate purification process and forged one half of what is essentially an unnatural gaming experience. On the other, they’ve callously decided to add in an unhealthy dose of addiction. If Peggle’s tone weren’t so deliriously upbeat and so clumsily charming I’d half expect it come with a health warning.
Released two years ago on PC, Peggle already has somewhat of a cult following amongst puzzler aficionados, and as with every successful puzzle game its premise is extremely simple. Faced with a fancifully laid out set of differently coloured bricks, you’re armed with a cannon and the simple objective of hitting all of the orange bricks on screen. As you’d expect, progressing through the adventure mode’s 55 differently themed levels, the challenge of hitting all the orange bricks becomes an increasingly difficult task, but never to the point that the task becomes overwhelming or perceivably unfair.
While games such as Tetris relied solely on finger dexterity and a focused mind, Peggle is perhaps the antithesis of such an experience. Whether you’re racing through the adventure mode, conquering a particularly challenging level with sufficient panache to unlock an achievement in quick play or facing off against friends in party mode, luck will always play an influential factor in determining whether you’re successful or not. Perhaps it’s here that we find a third vice enclosed in this unassuming package; that of gambling.
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