Pegs to be Hit 

A childhood recollection and a computer offering come together with a new game from Popcap.
Popcap Peggle game

Growing up near a seaside holiday resort meant I spent some of my formative years trawling around various slot machine arcades spending my meagre pocket money.  I have a clear memory of one particular machine where you could direct a coin to avoid pins and obstacles so that it fell into a column containing other coins that, once filled, would reward you with its content.  It was surprising how often you could find one of these machines with several columns that were almost filled and just ready for the more skilful operator to collect the reward on offer.  This bout of reminiscing has been brought about by a computer game entitled Peggle Deluxe.

This game involves directing a ball to fall in the same way as that coin many years ago.  Rather than finish up in a particular column, Peggle requires you to hit pegs which are then removed from the game area.  You are provided with a set number of balls, which react to any collisions, in order to clear away the pegs.  Four different coloured pins, which can be rectangular or round, are used.  Orange pegs are your specific target and they must all be removed in order to complete the current level and progress on through the game.  Any blue pegs that are hit add a minimal amount to your score and are little more than obstacles to be removed in order to clear a path to more rewarding targets.  Green pegs, of which only a small number appear on each level, activate a magic power when hit while a single purple peg changes location after every ball released and adds greatly to your score.

The ball release mechanism can be directed using a combination of mouse and cursor keys while a constantly moving bucket resides at the bottom of the screen.  If any ball is caught in this bucket then it can be returned to the ball column for reuse.  Containers on the left and right of the screen respectively show the number of balls left and the current score.

Four different modes of game play are available.  Adventure mode lets you progress through the 55 basic levels of the game with a set difficulty level while Quick Play is used to tackle an individual level previously completed in Adventure mode.  Duel mode pits you against a friend or the computer as you take turns to score the most points.  Finally Challenge mode is only available when you have completed the Adventure mode and consists of 75 specific challenges for the more expert player.

Replays of spectacular shots can be viewed and saved to impress friends and family with your undoubted skill at the game.  When targeting the last orange peg on a level, the game will automatically switch to a close-up view.  This is fine when you hit the peg but can be rather off-putting when you ball flies passed with out making contact.

Peggle can be downloaded free of charge for a trial period before you need to register the product and pay £14.95.  In order to play the game you will need a system with a 700MHz processor, 256MB of RAM, DirectX 7, and an Internet connection for downloading and registering the product.  The game will run on any version of Windows from 98 onward.

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