Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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Peggle on the iPad? Well, not quite, but while fans wait for a native iPad version, Kickin Momma is definitely worth checking out now since it's universal, only $.99 and it's essentially the same game.
Peggle is a runaway hit by gaming giant PopCap, ported to iPhone a while ago. The object is to guide the trajectory of a pinball in an attempt to touch all ten orange colored pegs. Based on Pachinko, it's not a deep game, but there is something utterly addictive about it.
Kickin Momma has the same basic gameplay but, frankly, a more appealing package for the over-12 crowd. Momma is an ugly monster with penchant for dressing in drag and bling. She’s hooked on pretty shiny trinkets, but she can't afford them. So, Momma has developed a nasty habit of kicking her offspring off a cliff so they can fall down and release gems for her to steal.
Players control the trajectory of a specified number of offspring per level, and try to earn extra babies, in an attempt not just to hit the gems, but free them from whatever trap the surrounding pegs, rocks and mini icebergs form. There are 36 levels distributed across three environments.
The control are solid and players can aim precisely. In the upper left corner of the screen there is a circle that usually shows the number of baby monsters left, but switches to an up-close view of the flight path while setting up the kick. Set the path and the force by dragging and then tap the kick button - Momma punts.
Using pinball-like dynamics and a few actual pinball bumpers, babies bounce around the board and free gems by landing on them. Each touched peg vanishes, allowing the gems to fall more freely to the floor. Some obstacles require power-ups, like fire to melt icy blockers and time-delayed bombs to explode boulders.
Each level specifies the number of gems – there are total of 10 - that are required for successful completion. A combination of score, speed and simple luck determines the outcome. Kicking Momma is integrated with Game Center, as well. The sounds effects are fitting and the art is fresh and funny.
What the babies lack is a certain juiciness - a fatter, bouncier quality that would allow for the crazy random shots that are so easy to achieve in Peggle. Instead they seem to fall a bit flat. Also, the gems trapped in the grid thing - it's just annoying, particularly on hard levels.
That said, I prefer the look and the offbeat storyline here to the sugary-sweet alternative and it kept me playing (and more importantly replaying) for days. Whether you know the games that inspired Kickin Momma or not, it stands on its own ugly workbooks as a wonderful addictive monster-kickin' good time.