See rainbows and unicorns without drugs!
Simpleness is what drives Peggle. It's about shooting a ball at pegs. Hence the name. See? It's so simple, in fact, that it'll drive you nuts.
[image1]Peggle started out as a downloadable game on PopCap (quickly picked up by Steam), and from there on out receiving high praise all around. PopCap Games expanded the franchise onto various other devices and is now landing on the Xbox 360's Live Arcade.
Peggle is incredibly simple to play - aim the ball and shoot. Hit all the orange peggles and you win. There are other peggles with special properties along with the orange ones, adding to the challenge. Blue peggles count towards the score, purple ones become multipliers, and green peggles activate your character's special powers (more on that in a bit).
In a way, Peggle plays like a mix between Pachinko and Bubble Bobble. At the end of level, after clearing all of the peggles (or just the orange ones), the pit at the bottom of the table is replaced by Pachinko-style bonus buckets. Depending on which basket the ball lands in, a different number of points in added to the total.
[image2]As you start up, you're thrown into a crazy and colorful world, full of cute creatures, like Bjorn The Unicorn, who are experts from a suitably named Peggle Institute. Adding a bit of seasoning into the mix, is how each of the eleven critter masters has a special ability that affects how the game is played. These abilities are put to the test in a set of five levels for each animal companion in Peggle's main game mode.
Peggle Deluxe does not add much to the core Peggle experience, and if you have gone through the original PC version's 55 levels to graduate from Peggle Institute, you won't find anything particularly new in terms of challenges here. Other than the main single-player mode, you can partake in Challenge mode, which adds objectives to be met in a chosen level; Quick Play, which speaks for itself; and Master Duel, where a computer-controlled animal master takes turns with you, playing on the same peg board, and tries to beat your score.
[image3]The added value - PopCap hopes - comes from the new multiplayer modes implemented for play via Xbox Live or with extra controllers. Peg Party is a competitive mode where up to four players work to clear their own boards of pegs, with all sorts of custumizable game options. Duel mode mimics the single player's Master Duel, pitting two players against each other in order to reach a high score, using the same peg board. It can also be played offline with a second controller.
To be honest, there's not much to be said about Peggle Deluxe - it's a very easy game to pick up and enjoy. It does get crazier as you progress, in terms of difficulty and complexity. A plus also has to be given to a game that plays Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" every time a level is completed - making you feel like Die Hard's Hans Gruber (sans falling off a thirty-six-floor building). The added game modes are an interesting distraction, but if you have played Peggle on any of the myriad of platforms it's on, these additions might not be enough to warrant a purchase. However, if you've never been hooked on Peggle before, it's a great purchase for 800 Microsoft Points.