[Game Review] Peggle is a Good Port of a Timeless Addiction


Peggle is one of my favorite games to play when I don’t want to think about much or if I need to clear my mind. Not only is it fun, it’s challenging, but not so much so that the game will frustrate you to no end. The game itself, which is a port of the timeless classic which originated on Windows, is good, but how well does it translate to the smaller screen? And did PopCap do a good job of porting it to Android? Let’s jump into it.


Think Pachinko, except the pegs actually disappear as you hit them and your goal going downward is to clear certain colored ones. Even with obvious inspiration from the Japanese casino game, Peggle is quite original in form. You go through a series of instructors and peers as they help you progress through the Peggle University. The ultimate goal is to graduate and become a Peggle Master.


As I touched on before, your goal is to clear levels of certain colored pegs in order to trigger what’s called Extreme Fever. This is where more of Peggle’s Pachinko inspiration draws from – you watch along as the marble bounces back and forth, up and down until it falls into one of several bins which determine how much of a bonus score you’ve tacked on to what you’ve already earned.

As the game’s ultimate goal is to score as many points as you can, bonuses are earned for pulling off difficult trick shots or for clearing a large number of pegs in one go. The latter counts toward a meter that’ll help you earn more marbles the more you score in one shot. This is significant because the game is over when you lose all of your marbles.

The folks at PopCap make things more interesting when they give you chances on each level to unlock special abilities. These abilities are specific to the characters you’re playing with. The Egyptian Cat, for instance, affords you a pyramid-like bottom for the barrel that parades back and forth to catch the ball. Others may afford you multiple balls with one shot or a “zen” shot that’ll adjust your aim for the best possible outcome.

Quickly circling back to the barrel I mentioned earlier, that thing will award you with a free marble if the one you shoot falls inside. Conversely, shooting a marble without it hitting any peg or without falling into the barrel gives you a chance to get that ball back, but there’s also a very good chance that they’ll play the tough love card and make you move on with one less meaningful shot.


It looks like every other rendition of Peggle we’ve seen – crisp, clean, beautiful and lots of color. It translates well to the smaller screen from desktop PCs and consoles and doesn’t stray too far from what worked for other mobile platforms. Everything above can be said for sound. Performance rolls along smoothly, though I must note that I have only played this game on an HTC EVO 3D and a Samsung Epic 4G. It doesn’t differ at all from what we get on other platforms as far as the above goes, and that’s a good thing – don’t break what isn’t broken.

Replay Value

Peggle comes with Adventure Mode which takes you through the “university” I described above, but once you make your way through that – aiming to unlock all of the different characters – you’ll probably be wondering what there is to do. You can go and replay any of those levels in Quick Play mode in hopes of getting higher scores. Even funner is the Challenge Mode, a collection of 40 levels that are a tad more difficult to clear. The added levels provide a nice twist that do well to extend the base experience.

You’ll also be able to unlock Duel Mode where you can go head to head with the CPU or your friends to see who can clear each level the best with their respective characters. The only uncertainty I have  in regards to replay value is the fact that PopCap hasn’t provided free after market support for the same title on other platforms.

The iOS version gets Peggle Nights, something they’re calling an “add-on” that can be purchased in-app, but was treated as a full-on sequel on other platforms. If we’re to get anything more, expect to have to dish out more money. It’s also worthy to note that this version of Peggle is based on the same game that was released in 2008 – it’s quite old, but that doesn’t mean it gets old. It ages really well, in fact.

Leaderboards and achievements exist to let you measure your skills up against others’. Another bonus is the ability to save and watch replays of your best shots. Not necessarily gameplay, but saving your shots to show to your friends or remind you of how awesome you are later on gives you yet another reason to fire the game up.

The Verdict

My review may have sounded like an advertisement for the game, but that’s because there isn’t much bad to say about it. In fact, the only complaint or critique I have is that it ends far too soon. That’s something I hope will be remedied by coming updates, even if we do end up having to pay. All of the fun can be extended by sharing the experience with friends or trying your hand at puzzling challenges, so there’s still a good amount of content to sink your teeth into.

Everything here is very solid and is an exceptional port of an even more exceptional game. There’s a reason why this three-year-old classic still has everyone shivering to play it over and over on several different platforms. Your time, money and energy are worth the fun Peggle provides, even if this is one of those “what you see is all you’ll get” games. Find it for $3 at the Amazon Appstore.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. It’s a fun game, but the graphics suck on my Thunderbolt. I have seen indie developers produce a better looking game, and for a company as big as PopCap, that’s pathetic.

    1. To be fair, the original game was made in 2008.

      1. Better looking games existed in 1998.

        1. It’s a mobile game. A puzzle game, at that. Are you expecting Gears of War or Battlefield 3 on a handheld for a puzzle game? If so, I advise you to give up on mobile gaming while you’re ahead.

  2. Now to wait for Copcap to get around to letting people other than Americans play the game. Popcap are basically throwing away money by keeping it Amazon (aka American) exclusive, it just pisses off everyone else in the world and reduces the urge to give the company money.

  3. It would be nice if it didn’t take 80MB and actually was designed for display resolutions higher than 480 x 320.

    Cut the Rope is less than 20MB and actually uses textures that look right on an 800 x 480 display.

    It’s a fairly pathetic port, especially considering how long it took them to do it.

  4. I’ve got a GT 10.1 and a Sensation. Both are far from optimal resolutions for this game, and it shows. Mismatched textures and such.

    But I have been waiting for this game for so damn long I don’t even care. I love this game too much. I’m pretty sure it’s laced with cocaine with how addicting it is.

  5. Just reiterating Damon’s point. Why the hell do they limit this to US customers? Pretty over being treated like a backwater no body when it comes to devs.
    I’ve waited & waited & waited for Peggle, and now to learn it’s only available on the Amazon store… well I might just give up.

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