Saturday Morning Gaming: The Joys of Virtual Pachinko
Remember Peggle? Well, if you don’t, Peggle was a web flash game made by Popcap (we get into the awesomeness that is Popcap a little bit here). If you don’t know what flash games are, they are somewhat complicated games that you used to be able to play in your browser. And Popcap made really good ones. Games that pretended to be Pachinko, games that pretended to be scrabble, games that managed to be three-in-a-row games… and these little flash games were “the first hit’s free” games advertising for $20 “full” games from the website.
Peggle was their Pachinko game. Get the board, line up your shot…
And then clear part of the board. The goal was to get rid of all 20 red dots. You probably wouldn’t do it on the first shot so… maybe do it on the second?
Heck, this weekend you can pick up the original Peggle Deluxe on Steam for $.99 (instead of five bucks) or Zuma or Chuzzle or Bejeweled 3 (the apotheosis of three-in-a-row jewel games). All of which are amazing games and all of which are perfect for someone wanting to play a game that is fun, not too challenging, has a little bit of luck, a little bit of skill, and a little bit of “one more attempt”.
The great thing about Peggle was that it took the idea of Pachinko and then added some personality to it. The Unicorn Guy gave you shots that gave much better targeting. The groundhog gave you shots that could split into two balls. The alien gave you shots that blew up everything within a radius of the strike. It made each map new and interesting despite it, fundamentally, being a gravity-powered Pachinko game.
If you look back at those games in fondness, as I do, you may find yourself saying “I wish that I still had that game from time to time” or even “I’d like to play that game fresh”.
Well… I have some good news. There’s a Peggle-like game on sale at Steam.
Roundguard takes the simplicity of Peggle and adds RPGish touches here and there. Instead of assuming that the shooter has a personality that allows the ball to be aimed better or split into two or whathaveyou, Roundguard assumes that the ball is the center of the action. So they give the ball some skills. Right click to use Skill #1, left click to use Skill #2.
The barbarian can do a spinny attack (and gain new attacks if they happen to travel the map for a specific one). You can pick up new weapons and new armor.
Heck, you can pick up alternate *PLAYERS*.
The Rogue has a bow, the Wizard casts lightning, the Druid can teleport to plants (created when pots get cracked).
If you enjoyed Peggle, you should check this game out. If you never played Peggle, you should check them both out. A great little game for killing a little bit of time but it has a side of “one more ball, one more shot, one more map, one more game”.
So… what are you playing?