“Silver balls fly free,
Launched, striking pegs of color.
Luck rewards player.”

— My Haiku on Peggle

Peggle is one of the most popular games to come out of Seattle-based Popcap Games since their big hits Bookworm Adventures and Bejeweled 2. The catchy music and easy gameplay has made it a huge success and a great addition to Popcap’s large library of games.

The game play in Peggle is pachinko-like by allowing the player to shoot balls from the top of the screen onto the game board in hopes to hit all of the orange pegs in between the multiple blue pegs and game obstacles. You are given 10 balls and a bucket on the bottom of the screen that if you are skilled enough, (though luck takes over for most of the game) you can have your ball fall into and gain more balls.

Peggle Deluxe was released in 2007 with the sequel, Peggle Nights, released in 2008. Peggle is now available on the PC, Mac, iPod, XBLA and now for the Nintendo DS, aptly named Peggle Dual Shot. The game was developed from the Japanese company Q Entertainment, makers of Lumines, Rez HD, and Meteos. Dual Shot includes both levels from Peggle and Peggle Nights, with additional levels made by Q Entertainment.

Now that we have all the basics out of the way, let’s get to the game itself. Peggle is a great game to pass the time away. Like vintage arcade games, you always are trying to get the highest score, hit every peg on the level, or pass a difficult challenge. The game excites the mind when you hit a certain peg, have your ball fall into the bucket or complete the level. With all its success on earlier platforms, the Nintendo DS is the perfect evolution for the game. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean it has its issues.

Peggle DS screenshot 1Peggle DS Screenshot 2

First, the great things about the game:

  • Content: Just getting Peggle itself would have made people pick up the game, but adding Peggle Nights and additional levels just gives you a ton of things to do. You seriously get what you paid for. With over 115 levels, this is a massive game. Not only do you get those levels, you still get a large portion of the challenge levels from the original game that will add more to the game play.
  • Controls: Being able to use either the stylus or the controls on the DS is a welcoming sight on any Nintendo DS game. With so many games trying to have you use both the stylus and buttons, it gets pretty clumsy and smudgy. I especially liked the zoom-in feature that you have for your stylus. It helped sometimes, but read on to see why most of this didn’t matter.
  • Bonus Gems: Something new that I found very addicting is a bonus level you are awarded after you hit five purple bonus pegs. It was not only a great way to add more strategy to the game, but more points. Each bonus level includes a ton of gems (that are added into your final score if you complete the level) and an extra ball, so you can really get some great game play trying to catch all the gems.
  • Game Sharing: I love the fact you can pass a demo of the game along to a friend. I wish more games would implement this option to get gamers to try new games. I also liked the options of multiplayer gaming with one DS.

Things I hated:

  • Smaller levels: The levels are a lot smaller than the original. Some of the levels I played cut off the bottom of the original game’s pegs. This was very disappointing to see as some of the strategies that I used for the PC version no longer worked. The small screen size also made pinpoint shots harder as the dotted line that helps you aim also seems to not be as accurate as it can be in the PC and Mac versions.
  • Buggy game play: Some of the issues I had were some of the bugs that came within the game. Specifically with Claude the crab. Multiple issues came up when I tried to use the flippers ranging from missing the ball completely to the ball off the middle of the flipper. This was very discouraging.
  • No Marina the Squid: This had to be the biggest disappointment I had for the game. I really was expecting to see her in the game and play her in the original Peggle levels. To my chagrin, she is not in the game. It is sad to see that not all of Peggle Nights is available in the DS version.
  • Nothing new to see: Other than the 10 new levels created by Q Entertainment, if you own the first two games, there isn’t much new to play. This is a huge problem when you have to get all the same achievements you got in the PC versions all over again in the DS version (especially the 750,000 point challenge.) This also includes all your personal high scores.

In the end, the graphics, sound, and game play are what you would expect from a Nintendo DS port of the game. The game sells between $19.99 and $29.99 depending on where you get it. Should you get it? Absolutely! This is the best game out for the DS early this year and has so much quick game play, that you could play it for five minutes, 30 minutes, or even an hour and still have a fun time. The perfect game to take out and play when you’re waiting for the bus, in the doctor’s office or anytime you need that gaming fix.

Edited by Nary Pung