The glorious day has arrived, yes, the day that Peggle makes it way on to the iPhone, and I am here to tell you the hype was not in vane, because Peggle is just as great as it ever was.
Before we jump ahead of ourselves, perhaps a little description of Peggle is order, for those of who have never experienced it. Think Plinko on The Price is Right, you shoot your ball into pegs, and it bounces around, clearing any pegs it makes contact with. Sounds simple, and maybe even a little boring on the surface, but I can assure you it isn’t. The amazingly fun and challenging part of Peggle comes from getting rid of all the orange pegs in a certain number of shots, especially with all the blue pegs blocking your path. Every shot has to be carefully planned, to make sure you hit the maximum number of pegs possible. Once you shoot your ball, you just watch the ball bounce around and hit the pegs, which sounds boring, but it actually makes for some of the most tense moments in any video game I have played. Watching a ball sail by that last orange peg on your last ball is one of the most devastating things I have felt in a game.
In Peggle there are 3 different modes, the first of which is adventure mode. In adventure mode, you play though a series of levels, each of which has it’s own Peggle master to help you through with their special abilities. For example, one of the master gives you a second ball whenever you clear out a green peg (each level has 2 green pegs). As you progress through the game the levels will get harder, but the power ups will get more and more useful and powerful. Once you beat the Adventure mode, which consists of over 40 levels, then it is time to move on the the challenge mode.
In challenge mode, you play the normal levels, but with a twist. One of these is to play a level you would normally play, but with a bunch of extra orange pegs to clear out, and the same number of shots you would have normally. Another one is the playing a level with a score requirement, instead of just having to clear out a certain number of pegs. These challenges really extend the life the game (which is a good 6 hours anyway).
They even threw in a Duel mode, which allows to Peggle battle against the computer or a friend (on the same phone). This mode gives the game infinite replay value, because every match is different from the last, and if you are really into the gameplay, you will find yourself battling with the computer for hours on end.
So there you go, that’s Peggle, now lets get into the meat of the review…
Where to start, considering how much good there is in Peggle, but let’s start with what is probably the best thing about Peggle, the sound. This is a very sound driven game, the most satisfying part of Peggle is the sound it makes when you hit the pegs. As you bounce around and ping off the pegs it makes beautiful sounds that are almost like music.
The visuals are nothing to look over either, while they may not be as mind blowing as the sound, they still look very nice, and are simple and work great for the type of game that it is. The art is smooth, and the backgrounds look great. The menu system is also very solid and easy to navigate.
Wait did I say the sound is the best part of Peggle? Ok, maybe that’s not entirely true, because the gameplay is actually the best part of Peggle. Coming from playing Peggle on the PC and Xbox 360, it took me a little while to get used to the controls in Peggle. To make big moves on the board you tap a general location of where you want to go. Once you get the cursor in a general area, you use the scroll wheel on the side of the screen to make more finite adjustments. To shoot you tap the little fire button conveniently placed right about the scroll wheel.
The one thing that annoyed me about the controls is when you use the actual area on the screen to aim. When you slide your finger across and lift it up for a second and put it back, it doesn’t resume where you where it jumps to wherever you touch. This took me a little while to get used to, and because of this I found myself just using the scroll wheel more then anything.
The only other complaint I have is that Peggle is designed to played with more screen real estate, and playing on a small screen looks a little weird to me at first. I also think they could have make better use of the available screen, as a lot of it is covered by the click wheel and the meters and the like. Still this is a pretty small gripe from such an amazing gaming experience.
Overall, Peggle is one of the best games I have played on any platform, and while the iPhone version is great, it is a game that’s better played on a bigger screen, but don’t let that stop you, because it is still 100 percent worth playing. I have played Peggle on 2 other platforms, and I still enjoyed every second I spent playing it on my iPhone.
Presentation & Graphics
The art is very nice, and the graphics look good. It’s not amazing, but I was impressed with how they managed to take a game built from a big screen, and put on the iPhone without loosing all its fidelity.
The sound is perfect, and the sound of the ball hitting the pegs is the most enjoyable sound in any game. Even though there is no music currently, it didn’t bother me in the slighest, because the sound is perfect even without it, and the music will just be icing on the cake.
Peggle is fun, really, really fun. If you are a veteran Peggle player, the iPhone controls may take a little while to get used to, but they are well implemented. The other only thing that keeps it from being perfect is the one aforementioned control annoyance that i have.
The main game is a little over 6 hours long, and there is the challenge mode and duel mode as well. An average gamer should get at least 10 to 12 hours of play from Peggle.
Peggle is amazing, and on the other platforms Peggle gets a perfect 5 out of 5, but due to the small screen and the fact that I feel they could have made better use of the screen real estate it looses half a point.