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"I started playing around noon and emerged sometime from my room later to find that the authorities had declared me legally dead."—Ben "Yahtzee" Croshaw reviews Peggle
Peggle is a highly addictive series of puzzle games from developer Pop Cap, available for purchase via Valve's Steam service.
The goal is simple: you're given ten balls and you have to knock out all the orange pegs on the screen by bouncing the ball off the various pieces of scene geometry. Succeed, and you're off to the next level. Beat all the regular levels and you can then try your hand at the challenges, which are the same levels, but with certain conditions that must be met to beat the challenge. Conditions include getting a certain minimum score (harder than it sounds), playing a variation of the usual level with more orange pegs than normal, or clearing every single peg to name the three most common ones.
The Peggle series currently consists of five games:
- Peggle Deluxe: The original game. 55 levels and 75 challenges.
- Peggle (iPod): An iPod port of Peggle Deluxe that is identical gameplay-wise, but features numerous minor visual modifications to suit the iPod's capabilities as well as providing 12 balls on level start instead of 10. All the same levels and challenges as Deluxe. Sold only through the iTunes Store.
- Peggle Extreme: A sort of demo version of the game originally released as part of Valve's Orange Box, it contains unique levels themed for Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portal and an extra Counter-Strike themed level. 10 levels and 5 challenges. Available for free on Steam.
- Peggle Nights: Dream themed game. 60 new levels and 60 challenges.
- Peggle World of Warcraft: Like Extreme, but for World of Warcraft. Also available for free.
- Peggle Dual Shot: The Nintendo DS version of the game. Contains all of the levels from Peggle Deluxe and Peggle Nights, a new "bonus underground" mode, and a collection of new levels featuring art from Q Entertainment.
- All Just a Dream: The premise of Peggle Nights.
- Attack of the 50 Foot Whatever: Claude's stages in Nights.
- Boring but Practical: Some of the more basic specials, like the Super Guide and the Pyramid, can definitely come in handy on some levels.
- Boss Rush: One of the challenges revolves around beating consecutive Peggle Master duels.
- Bowling for Ratings: Splork's obsession with round things naturally leads him to bowling in his stage in Nights. His WoW getup also contains a staff topped with a bowling ball.
- Cute Kitten: Kat Tut, and in Nights, Lord Cinderbottom's stages consist of him saving the cats and kittens of a town from a fire.
- Fireballs: Lord Cinderbottom's powerup - a big freaking ball 'o fire.
- Granola Girl: Tula....which kinda makes sense in a way, since she's a flower. Lampshaded by Tula herself in the opening of one of her levels:
I think it's important to be environmentally aware. That's why I only drive a car made of imaginary floating bricks!
- Harder Than Hard: The AI difficulty levels are Easy, Normal, Hard, and Master.
- Limit Break: '''Extreme''' '''Fever'''
- Luck-Based Mission:
- It's easy for levels to devolve into whether you can land in the bucket twice in a row.
- The placement of pegs at the start of a level may cause players to just go right ahead and hit restart if things like green pegs are in impossible locations, or if certain orange pegs are in obscure areas.
- Mission Pack Sequel: Nights added one more Peggle master and Ace medals, but it's essentially 60 more levels and 60 more challenges.
- Nintendo Hard
- Shock and Awe: Marina.
- In the original Peggle, Chuzzles are scattered around Splork's stages, and in Nights, Warren reads 'Z-U-M-A' off a statue description. Both Chuzzle and Zuma are other games made by Pop Cap.
- For a Shout-Out to something not made by Pop Cap, look no further than Kat Tut referencing the "More Cowbell" sketch and the following said by Master Hu in Nights:
- Random Effect Spell: Warren's special ability.
- Serious Business: The Excuse Plot of the game is that you're at "Peggle Academy" being taught by "Peggle Masters". Why there's an entire academy set up to teach people how to throw silver balls around is beyond understanding.
- Standard Snippet: Recognize Renfield's theme? That music that plays when you activate a Spooky Ball is Toccata and Fugue in D minor.
- Strange Syntax Speaker: Splork's application of Earth-English provokes interest, for certain.
- The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The game's AI. Even watching Demo Mode is convincing enough. Heck, just shoot a Zen Ball to see it--one of the few times you can actually use this to your advantage.
- The Smurfette Principle: Tula vs. 9 male masters (presumably Renfield the pumpkinhead and Splork the alien are male) in the original. Nights added a second girl in Marina.
- To Be a Master: The player's role in the in-game story.
- Video Game Tutorial: A subtle one. The first character you meet is Bjorn, whose special skill explicitly shows the player how the ball will bounce after striking the first target. Lining up shots for favorable second and subsequent bounces is the entire point of Peggle; Bjorn's special skill is really just training wheels for the shots you'll need to make later on.
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: Once you get the last orange peg, the game goes into super-close-up, super-slow-motion on the ball while Beethoven's Ninth Symphony belts out at full blast, almost as if you had just achieved world peace by kicking cancer right in the gonads.