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Peggle 2 gives puzzle addicts a big reason to get an Xbox One (preview)

Above: Peggle 2 from EA's PopCap Games is an Xbox One exclusive.

Image Credit: EA/PopCap

Electronic Arts’ PopCap Games is releasing Peggle 2, a sequel to the physics-driven puzzle game Peggle, on Dec. 9 as a downloadable title for the Xbox One.

This kind of release isn’t exactly what you would expect during the launch window for a new video game console. Most launch titles cater to hardcore gamers, but Microsoft is reaching far and wide with the Xbox One. And this exclusive means that your typical puzzle addict might very well favor Microsoft’s new hardware, which hit the market on Nov. 22, over the Sony PlayStation 4.

Peggle 2 feedback

Above: You receive a lot of positive feedback while playing Peggle 2.

Image Credit: EA/PopCap

The original Peggle debuted on the PC and the Mac in 2007. It won numerous awards and PopCap published the game on a bunch of platforms. EA announced Peggle 2 at the Gamescom conference in August. Now, the company is revealing more of the details regarding the puzzler’s gameplay.

In Peggle 2, you shoot a ball at pegs stuck on a wall and try to knock out as many of them as you can with a limited number of tries. You shoot the ball from a cannon at the top, and it eventually exits at the bottom, like pinball. When you clear a level, the game rewards you with lots of fireworks and resounding classical music (Beethoven’s Ode To Joy).

The gameplay is pretty similar to the original, which should make fans happy. The title chimes with harmonious sounds when your ball hits one of the pegs, which come in many different sizes. On the Xbox One, the colors, sounds, and fast shooting action come together in a very entertaining result.

Peggle 2 Luna

Above: Peggle 2 gameplay featuring Master Luna.

Image Credit: EA/PopCap

If you hit an orange peg, your path clears more easily. If you hit a blue peg, you earn extra points. If you land a ball in a basket that moves across the bottom, you’ll get a repeat shot. The level lasts until you run out of balls or get all of the orange pegs. You have to calculate the way the ball will bounce off the different pegs to maximize your score.

Along the way, you’ll have helpers — known as “Masters” — including Bjorn the unicorn and Jeffrey, a beer-drinking troll who allows you to drop a giant boulder down on a whole line of pegs. You’ll also meet Gnorman, who fires electricity from a ball, clearing any nearby pegs. With Luna, you can aim at orange pegs and knock them out, even if blue pegs are in the way. And with Berg, a yeti monster, you can put the pegs into a freeze, which allows the ball to bounce around a lot more, hitting more pegs than usual. The original game didn’t have so many helpers.

Each level has two green pegs that will activate Masters’ abilities. With Bjorn, if you strike a green peg, then you’ll have an advantage for the next couple of turns. You’ll see exactly how your ball will ricochet off the first peg that you hit. The skill is akin to shooting pool balls at exactly the right angle.

Levels also have optional objectives for you to tackle as well.

Another difference from the original is that pinball bumpers can keep a ball from falling into the drain. Altogether, Peggle 2 has 120 levels. That’s a lot of gameplay for the $11.99 price.


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