Developer: Peggle
Price: $4.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★★
User Interface Rating: ★★★½☆
Re-use / Re-play Value Rating: ★★★★½

Rating: ★★★★½

Becoming PopCap’s third title on the store to date, Peggle brings the much loved peg-blasting arcade title to your fingertips. Keeping most of it’s traits from the PC and Mac version, Peggle for iPhone takes the experience up a notch, or two. For anyone who hasn’t played Peggle (Where have you been, in a hole?) I’d like to take a minute to explain just what Peggle is.

What is Peggle?
Peggle is based on a seemingly simple, but yet very clever and highly addictive concept. The game starts by presenting you with a playing board of pegs, which light up. Within the board a certain amount of these pegs will be orange, and the aim of the game is to hit these orange pegs so that all of them end up, lit up. In order to achieve this the game grants you a certain amount of balls which you can then control the aim of, and fire at will. By the balls ricocheting off the other non lit pegs, Peggle makes for very interesting and unpredictable gameplay.

Playing Peggle
The game can be played using a total of 10 different colourful characters, across four different playing modes. These include: Adventure, Quick Play, Challenge and Duel.

  • Adventure Mode
    This mode offers up the classic experience of Peggle, the one you all know and love.
    Throughout this mode you will gain special powers, for a certain amount of turns,
    which will ultimately help you complete each level.
  • Quick Play
    Pretty self explanatory, this mode throws you straight into Peggle action. You can either play through the 11 stages, each consisting of 5 levels (55 levels over 11 worlds on total) or, you have the option for the game to select a random level for you. Choosing the first method sees you having to play through one level in order to unlock the next, while the second method allows the game to select a random level out of the levels you have already manged to complete.

  • Challenge Mode
    This mode does exactly what it implies. Locked by default until you manage to fully complete ‘Adventure mode’, Challenge mode is designed to throw challenges into the mix – 40 to be exact. Designed for advanced players.
  • Duel Mode
    The last mode in Peggle, Duel mode lets you compete against a friend or computer. Locked by default, in order to unlock this mode you must complete Stage 1 of ‘Adventure Mode’.

UI and Visuals
Peggle is one of those games which has always been known for it’s retro arcade-styled look, and the iPhone version is no different. From it’s quirky loading phrases, to it’s cute, pretty up-lifting graphics, this game is a feel-good game from the outset. Vibrantly coloured, you can just tell PopCap spent a lot of time perfecting Peggle for iPhone visually.

In-game, the UI is fairly straight forward, and has a few features which I wasn’t expecting. Describing the in-game screen, and the top you have your ball shooter. This can be aimed in any direction and emits a faint line of angle which will help you to decide on your next move. When this line comes into contact with a peg, or several pegs, the angle line is distorted to show you which path your ball will ball will fly, once released. So, How do you aim in Peggle for iPhone? You can aim in three different ways. Either by sporadically touching on the screen with one finger, touching and sliding, or on the left-hand side of the screen you’ll find a virtual ‘wheel’. Just slide your finger up and down over this, and your sight will pan from left to right (and visa versa).

See it in Action:

Video Courtesy of Touch Arcade
For best quality watch in HD

Above this you have the fire button. When your ready and happy with your aim direction, just give this a tap to fire that ball. Moving left, inwards from the right-hand side of the screen you’ll next find your fever meter. This basically measures how much ‘Fever’ is left in the game, before you finish a certain level. When the meter reaches 100%, rainbows will fly and fireworks will explode. You’ve reached Extreme Fever dude!

Below this you’ll find an instant-replay button. Also available from the Main Menu, anywhere in the game you can replay your last shot in real-time, and it works (not surprisingly) very well. Handy for bragging rights, right?

On the left side of the screen is your Ball-O-Tron. This keeps a record of the amount of balls you have left, and displays them in a visual ‘Pinball-like’ way. Finally, in the top left corner you’ll find a ‘Fast Forward’ button. Using this button will immediately speed up the rate of play as well as in-game elements. Handy for those not-so-easy animated pegs further into the game. To zoom in on a peg, simply double tap on any area of the screen. The only gripe I had about this was as I and a friend noticed, the quality of the background images are pretty darn low. Noticeable compression.

Bugs
I’d like to say this game is perfect, but currently it’s not. While playing, I noticed Peggle has a few slight issues, and for a version 1.0 release to be honest I was pretty much expecting them. However the first might put you off buying the game altogether.

Remember that fun-loving track PopCap lovingly added into Peggle for PC and Mac? You know you one; Booooo-do-do-do! Do. Do. Do. DOOO! – Yeeeaaah, well, it’s not present. Not in this version anyway. It’s meant to be, we’re sure of it. It just … isn’t.

Multiple users have confirmed that version 1.0 of Peggle for iPhone (and iPod touch) only boasts in-game sound effects. Well, they’d be right. Currently the game’s background music doesn’t play and at first, I thought it was the pre-release version of iPhone OS software I was using. I was wrong. After putting word out on twitter last night, it was confirmed: v1.0 has a sound bug.

The second bug found was one pointed out to me by a friend who also happens to have the game. In this version, the ball doesn’t seem to detect hits very well, and we came to the conclusion that the ball used might be a little .. big. The bug occurs when the game zoom focuses in on that very last peg. Even though the shot appeared to be lined up perfectly, the ball didn’t seem to recognise the hit, and in most cases skimmed over the last peg. Unlucky you say? Probably, but it did happen quite a few times in succession. Lets hope these are first on the list at PopCap for Peggle version 1.1.

Overall
There’s no doubting Peggle is a cult game, with a cult following. It’s addictive game play, vibrant (albeit compressed) visuals and simple in-game fundamentals make Peggle a title to reckon with. So how did PopCap fair when bringing the title to iPhone? Well I think they’ve managed to pull it off . Ok, so the game does need a few tweaks, what game doesn’t? There’s currently noticeable bugs in this version, as mentioned above, but overall Peggle for iPhone is a respectable counterpart to it’s Mac (and PC) sister.

If you are unsure about plunking for Peggle for iPhone, or just haven’t yet tried Peggle for yourself, I highly suggest you download the FREE trial available for Mac here and PC users here. Currently PopCap have not released a ‘Lite’ version, however I’m guessing this won’t be too far down the road considering the title’s already tremendous popularity.

Recommended? Definitely.

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