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Peggle Dual Shot has been an instant hit with everyone in my house. It's easy to pick up, bright and funny and has had all of us comparing notes and getting a little more competitive than the game really merits.
Who would have thought that pinging tiny balls off coloured pegs could be so much fun? Every game is basically the same, though the lay-out of the pegs changes to compliment the background picture. You also get an odd Peggle Master animal cheering you on for each set of five games. But the objective is the same all the time -- make sure you hit all the orange pegs. You'll want to hit green pegs for special powers and, if you have the chance, hit purple or gold ones for bonus points. That's it.
If it sounds trivial, it is. And if you want a game that will keep you entertained for a whole evening, look elsewhere (or even better get a new hobby). But if you want something to do while waiting for your other half to come to bed, or to keep your kids quiet while you're cooking their tea, you could do a lot worse.
I'm still new to gaming, and so I'm learning all the time what grabs my family's interest and what is likely to keep it.
As far as I'm concerned, I don't really want to have to work too hard. Tell me what to do and make it fun and I'll be happy. Peggle gives you just two things to think about -- where to aim (if you want to can work out your angles Ronnie O'Sullivan-like) and when to fire. It's just about the easiest game I've played in that respect, and all the better for it.
The way I play often involves more luck than judgment, but on occasions it's been necessary to pull out all the stops and really think. That's a great combination for a fun game. It's immensely satisfying to intentionally bounce a ball from one orange peg to another and then into the recycling bin. Particularly when your kids are watching.
My wife complains that Peggle is a complete waste of time. She would know as she's played it more than any one else. I'm not really sure why she likes it, but it could be something to do with the scientifically proven fact that across a sample of 132 people, playing Peggle increased their Mood by 573%. Who wouldn't want to feel that much moodier? Or is that happier?
My wife complains that Peggle is a complete waste of time but she's played it more than any one.
My kids are developing their own tastes, 3 year old Danny aside who maintains that any videogame is too hard for him. I don't think that is strictly true, but there seems no point in persuading him otherwise. It won't be long before he doesn't want to do anything else.
7 year old Jon really doesn't like to lose. He'll get used to it in time, but for now it's important for him to be playing age-appropriate games or he gets really frustrated. He loved Peggle because he could do it, and for a while he was beating his mother. How he celebrated. He can also play happily for 15 minutes and then turn the DS off which is extremely helpful for everyone.
5 year old James also took to Peggle in a big way. For him the colours, the music and in particular the slow-mo close up of the level-winning shot with overblown 'Ode to Joy' accompaniment were a big success. He likes it loud and fast. Then you've got the whole 'which Peggle Master do you think is best' debate which quickly becomes dreary in the extreme for anyone with a healthy disinterest in the crab/unicorn/chipmunk/whatever, but which for him seems to hold some deeper significance. He's obviously being brainwashed by the flashing lights and ying-yangs.
However they've both given up playing Peggle for now. It all got a bit hard, and if you get stuck there's nothing to do but to keep retrying. This is where I come in handy.
Boys: 'Dad, can you just do this level?'
He loved Peggle because he could do it, and for a while he was beating his mother.
Me (pretending I've got better things to be doing): 'Oh OK, just this one.'
'It's really hard, you'll never do it.'
Just watch me.
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: