HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – If I could describe PopCap Games’ Peggle 2 in one word, it would be joyous. The game is a must have for Xbox One owners. It’s whimsical and fun.
If you didn’t play the original Peggle, let me fill you in. It’s a puzzle game where the player shoots a ball out of a cannon into a sea of blue and orange pegs. The player’s goal is to eliminate all of the orange pegs before running out of shots. Blue pegs are worth 100 points. Purple pegs change location with each shot and offer the player a major point bonus, and the green pegs activate special abilities which I will cover momentarily. If the player is successful, they will trigger what the game calls “Extreme Fever”. All of the levels are played with a Peggle Master. These characters all have special abilities. For example, Bjorn the unicorn (not making that up), has the ability to show the exact trajectory of his shots. When “Extreme Fever” is activated Bjorn or any of the other Masters dances or head bangs to classic tunes like “Ode to Joy”. It’s a goofy, good time. The best part? The game is simple and that makes it a refreshing change of pace for the gamer who is tired of running and gunning, driving, or slaying zombies.
Peggle 2 is not a huge step forward for the series but I think most fans just wanted new boards to play with. The game offers just that. There are sixty new boards. There are also 60 trials for the player to try and beat. Another new twist is the addition of armored pegs that require two hits to eliminate.
For most players the new Peggle Masters are the big draw. Bjorn is back with several new friends. Jeffrey is a giant troll who has a boulder that crushes pegs in satisfying fashion. Berg is a hilarious abominable snowman who freezes the pegs on the board. When the player shoots a ball onto the board the pegs can then slide around. It gives the player the ability to slide pegs into one another. I will say that it is a nice addition but also can be a burden. Berg’s boards are designed to use his ability and sometimes it can be a pain. Overall, the four new Masters are solid, and funny, additions to the mix. It’s the puzzling lack of the old Masters that had me scratching my head though. The original Peggle had twice as many Masters! Only Bjorn returns to the new game. Adding the five new Masters is fine, but I think PopCap should have included a few fan favorites to round out the cast.
Multiplayer is still a work in progress. At the time of this review the game lacks the original’s Duel Mode where players can alternate shots on the same board in an effort to grab the high score. PopCap promises they are working to ready Duel Mode and it will be a free downloadable update. Players can play Peg Party for now. You try to outscore three up to three other players on a copy of the same board. It’s a fun diversion until Duel Mode is readied.
The game designers were obviously excited to take advantage of the Xbox One’s GameDVR feature. I think it’s fine to record some of my shots, but the game just uses it way too much. Your DVR will fill up quickly with the way the game records shots at will. It was very frustrating at times.
Overall, the game is a great addition to any Xbox One user’s library. It’s only $12! I do hope more Masters are added in the near future. The game does have a shopping cart icon on the main screen with a “coming soon” banner. I think paid DLC is in the works. If you like rainbows, explosions, unicorns, or puzzle games than Peggle 2 is just what the doctor ordered.