XBLA Review: Peggle

Fancy a Peggle on XBLA? You should do…

Simple ideas are great when executed properly. The idea of Peggle is simple, just fire balls and hit pegs to score points, add in some variety of powers and you have one hell of an addictive game.
Peggle has been around for a while, but now it’s on XBLA for 360 owners to enjoy. It has a total of 75 challenges and 55 levels for you to tackle. The object of the game is to take out all the orange pegs with the number of balls at your disposal, you can re-use the same ball if it lands in the hole at the bottom of the screen or you can get extra ones for hitting green pegs and scoring over 25,000 points with that one ball. There’s also multiball and accuracy powers, well there are more but I’ll leave it to you to discover them.

There’s something of a nostalgic feeling when I play Peggle. I’m not quite sure what it is, it’s just one of those games that you can’t stop playing…even though the idea is incredibly simple and it doesn’t differ in variety, but that doesn’t matter for some reason. Maybe because the idea just works and doesn’t need any gimmicky game types or tacked on modes that would dampen the experience. PopCap have done a great job in realising this and capitalizing on a simple concept, most would mess with the idea for a XBLA version…so I’m pleased they have kept it intact.
Besides the levels and challenges, there’s also a Duel mode where you can face off against friends, AI or anyone online. There’s also Peg Party which lets you compete with upto 4 other players, it’s a fun mode and adds a bit more replay value to the package, not that there isn’t enough as it is. For 800 Microsoft Points, Peggle is a bargain and well worth anyone’s cash.

Let’s take a quick look at the 12 achievements that the game offers:

Catch the Fever—Cure your need for fever with an Extreme Fever. (Except Duel) (5 points)

Go ULTRA!—Clear all the pegs in a level. It’s pretty extreme, but you look up to it. (Except Duel) (15 points)

Be Cool—Hit the last orange then the last blue to rack up a Cool Clear. (Except Duel) (10 points)

Free! Free! Free Ball!—Rack up the score or hit the bucket for 3 free balls in one shot. (15 points)

Party Master—Winning a Peg Party is way better than playing with a ball of yarn! (10 points)

Peggle Graduate—Complete Adventure Mode and earn your degree from the Peggle Institute. (20 points)

Peggle Professor—Complete every level in Challenge Mode and even the Peggle Masters will be impressed. (25 points)

Rock Lobster—Win an Xbox Live Duel like a crustacean born. ’Ave you tried ze flippers? (15 points)

Doctor of the Peggle Arts—Clear all pegs and bricks in every level in Quick Play or Adventure mode and gain explodious fame! (30 points)

Ace of Adventure—In a peg defying feat, score 20 million points in a single play-through of Adventure mode. (30 points)

People’s Ovation—Win a 4-player Peg Party by a whoppin’ 100,000 points to acquire everlasting coolness. (10 points)

Stylish Project—Bust out all your Skillz, Bounces and Slides for 1 million style shot points! (15 points)


Well that’s a pretty tough list! The first achievement “Catch the Fever” will unlock after you hit the last orange peg on your first game, but the rest are demanding. I can’t even imagine how to clear all pegs and bricks on every level, the idea just blows my mind…it sounds impossible, but I bet some have already dominated it and the other achievements.

Peggle looks great on XBLA, sure it’s not the most graphically demanding game in the world…but it’s pretty to look at, even better to play. There are some nice tunes to listen to, which are catchy in their own way. You won’t be humming them like other famous games’ soundtracks, but it’s still good.

The Verdict

Peggle is a must-have title for any XBLA owner. It takes a simple idea and doesn’t screw it up with silly gimmicks. It’s a game that many of us will be playing for months, if not years. What are you waiting for? Add it to your download queue, now!