Mini iPod Games column that I have started to review some of these games."/>
Mini iPod Games
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One of the best kept secrets of the casual gaming world are iPod games. These little gems can be purchased from the iTunes store and provide bona fide gaming experiences. Such was the response to our Mini iPod Games column that I have started to review some of these games.
The Japanese have long had a love affair with the path of sliver balls through a field of pins set out in coin operated machines. Downtown Tokyo sees arcades with row upon row of Pachinko machine. Pachinko, I am told by Wikipedia, is 'a Japanese gaming device used for amusement and prizes. Although pachinko machines were originally strictly mechanical, modern pachinko machines are a cross between a pinball machine and a video slot machine.' Peggle takes this simple concept and makes it accessible for the western masses.
Rather than aiming your balls towards certain cups and holes as in Pachinko, Peggle tasks the player with hitting certain colours pins to clear each level. It then builds a structured progression through increasingly complex pin layouts and also introduces other pins that provide extra points or special abilities.
It's a great pick up and play game when you have a few moments on the bus, between classes or even on the loo.
It's a simple concept but one that is surprisingly addictive. These special pins really add to the fun. There are blue pegs that simply increase the score, purple pegs which are worth 50 times more than the blue pegs, and green pegs that provide power-ups based on the selected character. Finally, scrolling across the bottom of the screen is the ball bucket which awards an extra ball if you get the ball into it.
This works well on the iPod as the aiming mechanic is ideally matched to the click wheel. That this game is designed for the casual market is further established by its provision for colour blind players. There is an option which adds a triangle to the green pegs and a plus to the purple pegs to make them easier to distinguish. It is this attention to detail that family gamers really appreciate, and causes me to highly recomend Peggle. It's a great pick up and play game when you have a few moments on the bus, between classes or even on the loo.
With so many different perspectives it can be hard to know where to start - a little like walking into a crowded pub. Sorry about that.
But so far we've not found a way to streamline our review output - there's basically too much of it. So, rather than dilute things for newcomers we have decided to live with the hubbub while helping new readers find the columnists they will enjoy.
Our columnists each focus on a particular perspective and fall into one of the following types of gamers: