Thursday, June 18, 2009

REVIEW: Peggle for the iPhone

Peggle for the iPhone is about the same experience as you'll find on any other platform you can find it on. Adventure mode puts you through all available puzzles with each character and their respective powers. There is also a quick play mode for when your girlfriend's nieces get ahold of your phone and want to play games. Rounding out the modes is a challenge mode for some extra replay value and a Duel mode which I haven't had the opportunity to try.

Having cleared the adventure mode, which does do a good job of presenting the overall Peggle experience, Challenge mode is a godsend. Granted I only bought the game for ¢99 while it was on sale last week, I would have been disappointed if all I got was a path through all of the puzzles and a quick play mode.

While adventure mode introduces the special abilities that green pegs will grant you as you solve puzzles, challenge mode is where you'll have to put them to use. Some of the challenge maps require you to hit a larger number of orange pegs (which are the pegs you have to clear in order to clear a map), or score a large amount of points on a map, each section gets progressively harder. The challenge here is the real value. Each map can be taken in small bites so it'll take plenty of rides on transit for a player to clear one of these challenge modes.

This is my first time playing Peggle, but I've heard so much about it that some things are kind of weird through self-discovery. First, the aesthetic of the game is sure to scare off some core gamers, but beyond there is a lot to the puzzles and mechanics of the game. Its kind of like a strange turn on pachinko wrapped up in a candy bar wrapper. Second, the scoring really empowers the player. Everything comes together to make you feel like you did an awesome job. I think this factor is what makes it the most casual friendly, despite the very real difficulty some of the puzzles present. My guess is that no matter how many times a player will have to attempt at clearing a map, they'll remember the EXTREME FEVER finish. Lastly, lining up shots can be really disappointing, or really rewarding. In my mind this is a cost/benefit that will either keep players interested or turn players off. In my case, I'll keep coming back to fine-tune my shots. Slightly more casual players might not like how easy it is to fail miserably. Even so, not clearing a map isn't the biggest loss in the world.

Before playing it, I might have turned my nose up at Peggle, but now I can say that Peggle is for everyone who likes to have fun and can look past a colorful nonsensical exterior.


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