Puzzle games are typically saved for the iOS/mobile gaming market, but sometimes we console gamers are treated to a few gems here and there. Peggle 2 features a colorful cast of characters and an addictive play-style that adds some nice flavor and variety to the current Xbox One lineup, but is lackluster multi-player a deal-breaker?
If you’re not up to speed on what exactly Peggle is, it’s as simple as destroying all of the orange pegs before running out of balls. There are purple pegs that boost your score and blue pegs that act as pesky defenders, but it’s the green pegs that keep things interesting by unlocking epic Peggle powers. Basically, it’s the perfect marriage of dedicated skill and pure blind luck.
As you play through the single-player mode, you’ll take on a variety different levels and challenges with various Peggle masters. Each Peggle master will lend you their own unique superpower when you knock out a green peg, all of which are completely different with their own pros and cons.
Using the unicorn Bjorn, for instance, will give you a long guidance line for two turns, making it much easier to string together hits or tackle pegs that require a bit of precision. Gnorman, the gnome within a giant mecha-gnome, electrifies your ball (shut up, Lance Armstrong) to hit multiple pegs on contact, while Luna’s Nightshade ability lets you shoot through those pesky blue pegs altogether. Replaying older levels with different Peggle masters is the only way to complete in-game challenges, unlock additional costumes and adds to the already insane replay value of Peggle 2.
Then there is the music! Blowing up that last orange peg, Bjorn, in my personally selected My Little Pony Rainbow Dash costume, headbangs as the screen explodes in to colorful fireworks, all while an arousing rendition of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” blares in the background. Yes, I meant to say arousing. We’re talking about a headbanging unicorn here, folks.
Peggle 2 is the perfect setting for some local competitive bro-op action too, but Pop Cap Games has still not updated the Xbox One with the promised “Duels” mode as of the time of this review. No local multi-player makes Gnorman a dull gnome.
There is, however, an extremely disappointing online mode which allows up to four players to duke it out in the most unexciting Mortal Kombat ever by playing their own boards and seeing who gets the highest score. Woo. You’re basically playing alone and seeing where you rank on a leader board that consists of four other players. It’s lackluster and boring and hopefully Pop Cap includes some form of excitement in the future, but for now Peggle 2 is only really fun as a solo affair and that isn’t always a bad thing.
If you’re looking for something a little different from racing, shooting or severing limbs, Peggle 2 is an awesomely addictive experience with a simple concept that you can pick up and play when you have a few extra minutes… but those extra minutes will almost always turn into hours of colorful explosions, loud music and an overabundance of cursing from your end. The best part is that it’ll only set you back $12.99.