It%26rsquo;s rubbish on paper, of course %26ndash; you just aim the ball at the pegs and fire, trying to clear all the orange ones %26ndash; but on iPod, DS, PC, and now Xbox 360, it%26rsquo;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 %26ndash; somehow %26ndash; 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 %26ndash; 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%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;s all rather reductive, of course, but there%26rsquo;s little more than ball-pinging and peg-lighting to reduce. There are over fifty boards to clear, and every few rounds you%26rsquo;ll play as a different character. Each bug-eyed fuzzy little critter has its own power %26ndash; 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%26rsquo;s worst mascots and the range of boards you have all the variety you need. It%26rsquo;s hard for most players to describe why Peggle is so good, but that%26rsquo;s because %26ndash; like a slot machine %26ndash; it%26rsquo;s addictive, and addiction isn%26rsquo;t a rational thing. It%26rsquo;s simple on paper and still pretty simple on screen; it should have been pushed a hundred times harder than it has %26ndash; Peggle, more than You%26rsquo;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