Peggle 2 is, as its name suggests, a sequel to PopCap’s incredibly popular mobile game, which sees you using a ball to clear a board of pegs in an almost pinball-esque fashion. This simple mechanic makes it incredibly easy to pick-up and play – but its accessibility also enables an addictive experience, meaning that it can be hard to put the DualShock 4 back down.
The game’s single player experience is definitely its main attraction, as it comes with six worlds, each containing ten levels and ten trial levels, equating to a whopping 120 stages in total. Furthermore, each location comes with its own crazy character, be it a head-banging unicorn, a yeti capable of twerking like Miley Cyrus, and even a gnome that’s been converted into a robot. Each one of these quirky beings also has its own special ability to spice up the gameplay; from super aim to big boulders, all of these power-ups make it easier to hit more pegs.
And there are more pegs here than in your mother’s washing basket, but, fortunately, clearing them all doesn’t feel like a chore. In addition to the vanilla pins, there are also special coloured ones in purple and green. Hitting the former will initiate a score boost, doubling the tally of any subsequent spigots smashed, whereas a green will augment you with your character’s aforementioned power-up for the next turn.
When you complete a level, the developer has implemented a nice DualShock 4 firework show, which employs the peripheral’s light bar, and flashes with triumphant colours. It’s a really, really minor detail in the grand scheme of things, but it all adds to the title’s overwhelming sense of satisfaction.
Aside from the solo mode, there’s also couch and online multiplayer to enjoy with either friends or complete strangers. Both options see you compete on the same game boards, battling over the highest score. It can be good fun with a few mates – but we felt that the addition of some kind of co-operative option, or even a different mode, could have greatly improved the longevity of this component.
Still, the visuals maintain a consistent, cartoony look throughout. The game is very bright and colourful, while the audio is equally impressive, employing classical songs such as The Morning Song by Edvard Grieg and Ode to Joy by Beethoven. Additionally, the sound effects are excellent, making every bonk, boop, and beep supremely satisfying. The combination of these presentational elements elevates the package above other similar products.
Unfortunately, while it is very moreish at first, the game does get repetitive after a while. There are plenty of optional objectives for you to strive for – as well as a whole host of Trophies to attain – but because the core gameplay is so simplistic, it’s better enjoyed in short bursts rather than long sessions. Furthermore, the level designs are often very samey, which doesn’t relieve the monotony all that much.
Peggle 2 is a good little game that’s worth a go if you’re new to the property or are a big fan of its predecessor. While addictive, though, the core gameplay can get repetitive at times, and this isn’t helped by some samey level design and a general lack of fresh ideas. Indeed, the experience here is largely comparable to the original, but it does at least manage to mix things up with new characters and special abilities. These, sadly, aren’t enough to make the title feel brand new – but it’s at least working with some strong existing blueprints.