Even without its new juggernaut publisher, PopCap Games has managed to inject a zillion-dy different platforms with Peggle [$2.99 / HD]. To its credit, each iteration of has its own unique feel and appropriate mechanical tweaks, as the designers at the Seattle-based studio apparently don’t take ports as lightly as most other development houses. The not-so-recent iPhone version, for example, rocked. The newly-released HD version does, too.
In the year 2011, I feel like we’re at a point where we all know what Peggle is and I can just cut to the chase. Peggle HD is a smart and solid offering that takes advantage of the iPad hardware and its advanced screen real estate. The controls aren’t as precise as other versions of the game, and it doesn’t really own the platform, but the game part feels right and just as entertaining as it is on anything else out there.
The one thing that really pops in this particular version are the visuals. I’ve never been a big fan of the art direction of Peggle overall, but I feel like this one sports harder lines, starker contrasts, and a much more enticing sheen than others. It’s more appealing to me for these reasons, and while that doesn’t count for a lot, it’s something.
The game part operates well enough. You’ll notice some UI tweaks if you’re used to the other iOS version of the game, but they appear to be all made in service of the much larger screen area that the game takes advantage of. In a way, Peggle HD is a much more focused, and slower affair because of the space -- you set up your shot, and then remove your hand from your action. Then, after a slight delay as move, you hit fire and watch the ball bounce up and down the board. It feels weird at first, but I'm finding my more... turn-based approach to Peggle pretty satisfying.
Just as a general note here: I haven’t noticed any physics tweaks, new mechanics, new levels, or new systems, so don’t go into this expecting a new look or a fresh experience. This is Peggle, simply on a larger screen with more robust art and a much bigger play area. For what it’s worth, though, I’ve been unable to pull myself away. Lord, I wish I knew why after all these years, but somehow Peggle can still grab me.
As for those technical issues I mentioned, it’d be best to scope our bustling forum thread about the game, as new, presumably rare stuff, gets noticed all the time. The majority of the complaints I’ve seen thus far hover around the sound. Apparently, the music toggle is messed up and, sometimes on the iPad 2, it only plays out of one channel.
Wrapping this up, I can’t really think of what else I could want out of this version. I mean, new levels would be great and all, but other than the hope for fresh content, there’s really nothing on my wish list. And if you do want something new-ish, there’s a hook-up for Peggle Nights via IAP. At the moment, though, it’s broken.
Anyway, I recommend the heck out of this, especially if you somehow missed out on Peggle.
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