The Good, The Bad, and the Free 01: Peggle

Welcome to my new series, 'The Good, the Bad, and the Free.' Everything about this new series will be explained in the FAQ section. So, let's get right into part one: Peggle.

Obtained from: Origin. Asking price: $5

Obtained from: Origin. Asking price: $5

Peggle is a pachinko style puzzle game that has you shooting a marble from the top of the screen and trying to hit as many pegs as you can as the ball works it way down down the screen. You only start with ten balls (but have multiple ways of getting them back), and after each turn any peg you hit disappears. The goal of the game is to hit all of the orange pegs before you run out of balls. Peggle offers fifty-five levels, seventy-five challenge levels, and multiplayer against others locally or against a bot.

The Good

The highlights of Peggle to me are its gameplay and accessibility. From the game's concept to its powerups, the game offers a simple twist on pachinko that is a lot of fun while also being a game that is easy to pick up yet hard to master. The game offers a perfect blend of skill and luck, where you try to aim your shots and maximize your points while hoping you hit the most amount of pegs and hitting the bucket at the bottom. All of this to the tune of a simple mouse click and aiming with your cursor. The game offers a simple concept that anyone can wrap their minds around, but then the game starts throwing in moving pegs, powerups, challenge levels that give you the normal levels but with modifiers like a low ball count or a score minimum, and even multiplayer against bots that isn't for the feint of heart. Peggle offers an experience anyone can get into and have a lot of fun with while also offering a challenge to those who stick with it, and because of that I believe that is the highlight of the game.

But that isn't the only thing good about the game. The powerups given to you are all fun to use and offer different strategies as to how you want to tackle the orange pegs, for a casual puzzle game the music is funny but in an awesome way (which I will talk about later), the game offers a good amount of gameplay and has a good skill curve to it, and the other modes available are good additions to the game. Also, some smaller details like being able to fast forward before a shot so you don't have to wait for the right time to shoot and being able to save and watch replays are welcoming, and it's a lot of fun to look back at some of the last ball skill shots I made. Overall, I would say that the highs are high, but the question now is how low are the lows?


The Bad

I actually don't have a lot of bad things to say about Peggle. I thought this game was only going to be okay, but it turned out to be a pretty fun time. I guess you can look at its simple nature and see a shallow experience, but it's still a great experience nontheless. The biggest issues I can come up with are that the game doesn't offer any graphical settings and is stuck in a bad resolution (which really doesn't matter) and that the powerup ability doesn't change color from powerup to powerup (which is something I got used to). But just because I didn't find many flaws doesn't mean this is the best game ever. I had a solid time with the game, but I don't believe it is the best puzzle game I have ever played. But at the end of the day, it's hard for me to really crap on the game (and how can I ever be mad at a smiling sun coming over a green pasture while Peter Gynt's Morning Mood is playing?)


The Free

The aspect I decided to focus on with the free is fever cam. Fever cam is something that pops up directly after hitting the last orange peg in which the game slows down a bit and five giant holes appear at the bottom giving you more points, all while to the tune of Ode to Joy. Earlier, I talked about the music being funny in an awesome way, and this is the perfect embodiment of that. It's a song so epic as Ode to Joy to something so menial as watching a ball bounce around at 50% or 75% speed, but it makes the moment so amazing. It makes hitting that last peg no matter how easy feel so great and giving tension as to where you want the ball to land at the bottom. I have a total of six replays, and all of them are moments where I was down to the last ball yet I win, and having that accentuated by something so hilarious yet awesome made that crazy shot that much crazier. 

Hitting that sweet middle 100,000 point bonus felt so, so good.

Hitting that sweet middle 100,000 point bonus felt so, so good.

Peggle is a solid puzzle game. Is it a little dated now? Maybe. But my experience with it hasn't really left any complaints. My time with the game is like the mood of the game: simple yet beautiful and happy. Its gameplay, acceccibility, happier mood, and more gave me a lot to love. Looking at its current price, gameplay, and content amount, I can easily say that this game is worth picking up. 

That about wraps it up. Thank you all for reading and tune in soon for the next part.