Peggle: Why I Play It, Love It, and Hate Myself.
Whenever I hear or see Bejeweled,I feel a sharp pain slide down my spine as that game ruins all that isbeautiful about gaming. Bejeweled got so popular thatmatching tile games have exploded as a sub-genre. You likely know some of theknock-offs: Jewel Quest, Chuzzle, MahjongTiles, etc.
Wait, you haven’t heard about these games? Then there ishope for you good sir, maybe not all of us have been corrupted.
Either way, Bejeweled and Bejeweled2 (a sequel, really?) made me hate PopCap Games, publisher of allgames casual, and therefore evil. Being a self-proclaimed “hardcore” gamer, Ifeel that all games have to present a challenge; that they have to be tests ofskill. I play video games all the time and the sheer existence of Bejeweledis a mockery of my talent.
Alright, maybe I’m going a bit too far, but really, I hatethat game and I hated PopCap Games, that is, until I tried Peggle.
Peggle, simply put, is Plinko—the bestgame on The Price is Right—but on crack. You shoot metal balls trying to clearall of the orange pegs and while a good portion of the game is luck-based, youcan, if you understand the physics of the game, predict the ball’s movement andmake some skill shots.
Of course, the game isn’t as skill-based as StreetFighter IV but, Peggle is a primeexample of a game that bridges the gap between casual and hardcore players.With each shot, you have to consider what orange pegs you’re going to hit, ifyou have a chance of hitting a power-up, and even predict the entirety of theball’s path for chance of hitting a moving basket for an extra ball. Thecontrols may be just point-and-click but, there is a surprising amount of depthin Peggle that games like Bejeweled have previously lacked.
Yet, I highly doubt that many hardcore gamers will even gonear Peggle. For the longest time, PopCap Games has beenpurely a casual, simple game publisher, and gamers likely feel alienated bythem. That and having a colorful unicorn on the menu screen just shows that thegame wasn’t made for that audience. Seriously, that unicorn is creepy; it evencalls me by name.
So I guess the purpose of this blog post is to publicly saysorry to PopCap Games; I have been bashing you guys for far too long to all ofmy friends. I have eaten my words.