Let’s Play #5: Peggle

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Peggle 1
The first level of the game.


Oh, so we’re talking about this game, hun? This is a very very addictive game. You might not be able to stop playing it for a while once you started it. You’ve been warned.

But first, you might be wondering what’s this game all about? Well to describe it, I’d say that to become a strong Peggle player you need three things: ability, strategy and luck.

But how does this game work? At first glance it may look like a pinball, but it isn’t. Each stage is covered of little colored “pegs” which you need to hit with the balls that you can shoot from the top of the screen. The objective though, isn’t to hit them all but just hit all the red pegs. After each shot, all the pegs which have been hit disappear, leaving room for you to hit different pegs. You get only 10 shots to clear the level and trust me, at first it might seem easy but later on, you will desperately cry to get more shots.

Peggle 2
Renfield in the fourth level of the game, just after making a nice combo.


Peggle’s scoring mechanics are quite simple and anyone could calculate those with a little effort. The calculation of each shot score is also laid out there on the screen, for everyone to see, and you even get a “replay” function to rewatch the whole game. That makes the game really fair since everything that happens is known. If you make a mistake, you can only blame yourself for your awful shot, not the game.

The score is calculated like this: First of all let’s talk about base values and multiplier. Each blue peg (which are the majority) has a base value of 10. Each red (those are 25 in each level) has has a base value of 100. Each green (two per level) has a base value of 10 while the purple peg (this peg is special and changes position every turn, replacing a random blue one) has a base value of 500. While you hit red pegs, a meter on the right side of the screen increases. After a certain number of red pegs have been hit, the base value gets multiplied (for example after 10 red pegs all the base values are doubled). That being said, the game just sums up all the base values of the pegs hit in one shot (according to the multiplier) and multiplies that value for the number of pegs you hit. Then if this “raw-score” is more than 25.000 you’re awarded an extra ball (2 extra balls for 75.000+, 3 for 125.000+). Then the game adds to this “raw-score” any “style-points” you might have made with the shot, and that’s your final score.

In the example in the picture above, I’ve hit 59 Pegs (a lot) and their total value (according to the multiplier) was 4.810. We then multiply 4.810 for the number of pegs hit: 59. The result is 283.790. I got more then 125.000 point so I’m awarded 3 extra shots. Then we add the style-points I’ve got: 125.000. Total score for this shot: 283.790 + 125.000 = 408.790.

But what the heck are “style-points”? It’s easy said. Style-points are awarded when you make certain tricky shots under certain circumstances. The most famous “style-shot” is the “Longshot” (shoot a ball and first hit a non-blue peg, ball travels 1/3 of the screen without touching anything, then hits another non-blue peg). This thing is worth 25.000 points (which, as I said, are added after the “raw score” is calculated). But there are style points which are worth even more, like 100.000 points (but I challenge you do them, they require a good amount of luck other then just pure skills).

This game is really fun to play. It’s easy to understand, it’s fair, addictive, each level is unique in it’s own way and the satisfaction of being able to clear a very difficult one, really pays of all the time you wasted on it. There are times in which you just shoot without even thinking what to do, and times where you take like, 5 minutes, to think of the best shot to do in the situation you are in. That’s right, because every match is different since the “board” changes depending of which pegs have disappeared in your last shot, which might lead you to change your strategy.

Oh, I forgot to mention a key mechanic of the game. Powers. You see, during your adventure you’ll get to know 10 “Peggle masters”. These characters have their unique powers that are enabled as you hit green pegs (that’s why there’s only two of them). Each character has it’s own pros and cons, and if at the beginning you are forced to use each master for 5 levels in a row, on the final 5 levels, you can choose whoever you like the most. This leads to the planning of different strategies depending of the master you are using to play.

Peggle 3
A duel between two very peculial players…


But the most interesting aspect of Peggle, is the multiplayer mode. You have no idea how many challenges I’ve done against my friends and my cousin (who drives me nuts when I see how much lucky he is). In multiplayer mode, two players can challenge each other to a duel. In this duel each player shoots a ball by taking turns in shooting. Each of them gets 6 shots and the rules are the same with a few exceptions:

1- All style points are 1/5 of normal value (ex. A Longshot isn’t worth 25.000 but just 5.000)

2- Not hitting any red pegs during a shot results in a penalty of 0 points for that shot, plus your total score being reduced of 25%

3- Not hitting anything doesn’t result in a 50% of getting a free ball, but just the afromentioned penalties.

4- Free balls aren’t awarded by getting the “ball-in-the-bucket” or via the 25.000, 75.000, 125.000 point limit. Instead, you get style points (there is only one way to get a free ball in duel).

The winner is the player that scores the highest. The level doesn’t need to be cleared, if both players finish the shots before all the red pegs are gone, the game ends and the winner is declared. I highly suggest you to play Peggle with your friends. I can guarantee you can both have fun. Too bad there’s no way to play this over the internet, that would have been really great.

Let’s Play’s stats:

-First episode aired on: July 16, 2013
-Last episode aired on: September 17, 2013
-Number of episodes: 13
-Total time of Let’s Play: 4 hours