Jon Gracey's

Games That Rocked…Bex Lindsay’s World – #40: Peggle

In DS, iOS, Mac, PC, PS3, PSN, Xbox 360 on June 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

Today’s post is by Bex Lindsay.

—-

Title: Peggle

Format: PC, Mac, iOS, DS, Xbox 360, PS3, PSN

Released: Feb 27th, 2007

Peggle Logo

Let me tell you a love story.

A few years ago, I met a boy. He was handsome, clever, funny…and I was totally smitten. By a stroke of good luck we ended up living together, and I was convinced this was my chance to get to know him better.

I only had one rival for his affections – his absolute fascination with computer games. I tried hard but I just couldn’t distract him from whatever bright and shiny game he was playing, no matter how much my conversation sparkled. Eventually I decided to see what all the fuss was about, and asked to try it out for myself. Immediately, and much to The Boy’s chagrin, I was both hooked and better at it than he was. When he was out I’d open his laptop and not only play the game but also beat his high-scores, then put it back and leave him baffled as to why his settings had changed. It was the ultimate clandestine affair.

Peggle 1

You see, the love story isn’t actually between me and The Boy. It’s between me and the shiny game that brought us briefly together – Peggle. Yes. That game where you drop silver balls at blue and red pegs and hope for the best. That game where you choose flipping crabs or exploding aliens as your super-power. That game where the sound effects make a satisfying ‘blop blop’ every time you hit a block. That game.

Everything about Peggle is perfect for me – the colour, the ease, the instant reward of a mini-fireworks display every time you complete a level. I know there’s no story or character progression like most of the games featured here, but I didn’t need a story to get into it – I knew what I had to do and I enjoyed the immediate understanding. Sure, I’d played similar games before (one called Balls’n’Walls had been a particular highlight) but this was different. This was special.

Extreme Fever!

You can probably tell by the way I’m writing that I’m not a seasoned gamer. I’ve never been on a Call of Duty and I’ve no idea how to make a Mario Kart go faster. But what I do know is this – I’ve had a longer relationship with Peggle than I’ve had with any boy. I know I shouldn’t say that, but if I can’t admit it on a gaming blog, then where can I?

I suppose I should explain. Since my first flirtations with Peggle, it’s become much more than a one-night stand. It’s a security blanket that offered me consistency in those post-University years when you have no idea what’s going on. If I needed to clear my head, I’d play Peggle and think through my problems. If I needed to concentrate on a podcast, I’d play Peggle and listen on. And if I’ve ever spoken to you on the phone, I can guarantee I was playing Peggle at the same time. Not that your conversation was boring, but…well…it’s not as interesting as my new top score.

Alien

The weirdest thing about this repetitive gaming is that for a good two years I was playing the free, downloadable version on my laptop – that means the same 20 or so levels over and over again. And then – and I remember exactly where I was when I did it – I bought Peggle for my iPhone. Finally I’d committed to a long-term relationship, and it was joyous.

Some friends warned me that it was a bad idea to settle down with Peggle as they’d seen how many hours I’d already sunk in to playing it, but I knew that it was something I had to do. After all, how could I be satisfied with the same old levels day after day when I knew there were other worlds, other peg formations, other superpowers, all waiting for me to get involved?

Peggle Awards

The best thing about going all the way with Peggle was being able to play with all of the cartoon characters and their special abilities, be that an omniscient unicorn or a fire-breathing dragon. (For the record, when I have to choose which character’s special power to adopt, I choose Splork the alien’s Space Blast every time). For a good few weeks after buying the full version I was playing it so much that every time I blinked, all I could see was a tiny silver ball falling through a blue vortex.

Rosette

In a very short space of time, I’d not only played all of the Peggle Master Challenges, I’d also got the high score (and a virtual red rosette) on all of the leader-boards in the Quick Play category. Soon after, I completed every level on ‘dual’ mode, where I competed against the computer. And now? Well, much like a serious relationship, Peggle and I are still going strong. Although we’re not exclusive (I recently had a fling with Candy Crush) I know that in my heart of hearts, Peggle will always be the one for me.

Bex!

Bex is a radio presenter & DJ, and writes about ‘ting here. She is also my friend, and she’s great. Follow her on Twitter!

Finally, here’s some Peggle wizardry. Gape away, friends.

 

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