Innovation & Design

Peggle: Dual Shot


Easily the most time-sucking game since Tetris, the part-Pachinko, part pinball game from PopCap has been gathering devotees since its original release on the PC in 2007. Shortly after, the puzzle game hit the iPod and now it has arrived on the Nintendo DS.

The goal of the game is simple—aim and shoot a series of balls, the goal to hit and eliminate all of the orange pegs on the screen as gravity pulls the ball downward. This is actually tougher than it sounds; there's a limited number of balls, and in more difficult levels, you must rely on tricks—like banking shots off the side of the screen to hit hard-to-reach pegs—to finish the game (or in Peggle parlance, get "Extreme Fever.")

Our pals at PopCap say they expect this to be the "best Peggle game," and we mostly agree. The game looks and play like previous versions, but it adds a few don't-miss extras like scoring extra points in a new underground bonus area for each level (accessed by hitting a moving purple peg five times) and a handful of weird/artsy/cool levels designed by the Japan-based Q Entertainment, the amazing team responsible for Lumines, aka the second most time-sucking game series since Tetris).

Now for the big bummer—there's no Wi-Fi multiplayer for Peggle: Dual Shot. The closest you get is a two-player Duel Mode that requires you to pass the machine back and forth with a buddy. The Xbox Live rendition of the game—out later this year—has ambitious plans for multiplayer (including a nifty four-player mode), but we're disappointed we didn't see more of that integrated into the DS version.

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