Peggle review

  • Pleasing sensory rewards
  • Stupidly addictive
  • Beautiful balance of skill and luck
  • Simple bordering simplistic
  • Dorky animal characters
  • Could've been expanded more

It’s rubbish on paper, of course – you just aim the ball at the pegs and fire, trying to clear all the orange ones – but on iPod, DS, PC, and now Xbox 360, it’s by far one of the best games on the platform that we do love so. Slot machines make their money by creating desire - the desire to pour your hard-earned dole money into the slot in exchange for occasional reward. The best machines make money with attractive lightshows, rewards that come at precisely the right moment, and sounds that – somehow – are especially pleasing to the human ear.

In this way, Peggle is something of a slot machine affair. No other game provides audio and visual rewards the way Peggle does – as the ball pings off each peg the dings rise in pitch and urgency; each one lights up in turn creating patterns across the screen; drop the ball in the bucket and you’re rewarded with a soothing chord; and clear a board and the sounds of Ode to Joy reward you for your glorious success. Simple by design, Peggle involves just enough skill to make you feel like a wizard, and just enough luck to make you feel at times powerless and at times like the luckiest gamer on Earth.

That’s all rather reductive, of course, but there’s little more than ball-pinging and peg-lighting to reduce. There are over fifty boards to clear, and every few rounds you’ll play as a different character. Each bug-eyed fuzzy little critter has its own power – one gives you pinball flippers, another spawns a second ball, another tweaks your shot just enough to make it bounce more successfully.

Between the world’s worst mascots and the range of boards you have all the variety you need. It’s hard for most players to describe why Peggle is so good, but that’s because – like a slot machine – it’s addictive, and addiction isn’t a rational thing. It’s simple on paper and still pretty simple on screen; it should have been pushed a hundred times harder than it has – Peggle, more than You’re in the Movies, Scene It, or the NXE is the gateway drug you can use to bring everyone onto your 360.

Apr 8, 2009

More Info

Release date: Mar 11 2009 - Xbox 360 (US)
Mar 11 2009 - Xbox 360 (UK)
Available Platforms: PC, Xbox 360
Genre: Puzzle
Published by: Popcap
Developed by: Popcap
ESRB Rating:
PEGI Rating:


  • CreeplyTuna - January 6, 2010 3:12 a.m.

  • key0blade - April 25, 2009 4:07 p.m.

  • Selectedpayload - April 20, 2009 2:05 p.m.

    Love peggle, and I normally play fps but last night I played peggle from about 5pm-12.30am. I didn't even move to get a drink. Got a friend buying it later today, don't think he knows what hes getting into.
  • iKOemos - April 9, 2009 9:29 a.m.

    Peggle is so goddamn addictive! Thats why I love it.
  • Scotty2Naughty - April 16, 2009 8:54 p.m.

    Agreed. I love this game. I want it for all the platforms I own so I can get my fix anytime and anywhere!
  • davreilly - April 9, 2009 1:29 a.m.

    Peggle's a gateway game you know. Leads to harder games. I was introduced to Peggle by a friend of mine. It seemed innocent enough, gave me a bit of a buzz. Then I showed it to my Mum. She loved it. Loved the bright lights and pleasing sounds. That feeling of 'just one more try, then I'll stop'. Now she lives in filth and plays Puzzle Quest night and day! Damn you Popcap! Damn you!

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