The classic game of skill and chance bounces onto the DS with Peggle Dual Shot. Can the DS version captivate players the same way as its big screen sibling?
It's hard to slot Peggle Dual Shot into any specific category or genre. Although its most commonly referred to as a puzzle game, which is why you find it nuzzled along side Tetris and Puyo Pop on our site, it's also very much a game of luck. Peggle takes a large chunk of its inspiration from the game of Pachinko, the gambling game of choice in Japan. The aim of a level in Peggle is to clear all the orange pegs or bricks. You do this by firing balls at them from the launcher at the top of the screen. You can aim your shot left or right using the stylus or the d-pad, then fire the ball by tapping in the middle of the launcher. Holding the stylus on the screen will zoom in on the pegs, letting you fine tune that perfect shot.
As the ball bounces around the screen, any pegs it touches are removed. In any level, there will be a large number of blue pegs too. These increase your score but don't count towards clearing the level. Since you only have ten shots and there are 20 or more orange pegs, you have to carefully line up your shots so that the ball ricochets between pegs. Good shots will bounce and notch up your score, eliminating extra pesky orange pegs on the way. If you're extra lucky, the free ball bucket which moves along the bottom of the screen will catch your ball and add it back to your stash. If not, the ball falls off the screen and is lost.
As well as blue and orange, Peggle Dual Shot also has green and purple pegs. Purple pegs increase your score and award stars. Shots which score highly can award free balls, so a skillful bounce off a purple peg can reap rewards. The stars that are awarded for hitting purple pegs are new and unique to the DS version. We'll explain what they do later.
During your first play-through of the story mode, you'll be introduced to each of the Peggle masters. These colourful characters each have their own special ability, which you can activate by hitting the green pegs. Children's favourite Bjorn the friendly Unicorn has a "super guide", which shows you the trajectory of the ball after it makes its first bounce. French crustacean Claude the lobster will stick his lobster claws onto the screen and let you flip the ball back up into play. There are ten different super powers in total and once you graduate from the Peggle academy you can replay any level with any of the masters. Some powers, such as the Fireball, which carves through pegs without bouncing, initially seem super powerful. In actual fact no one power is significantly better than another and choosing a favourite is more a matter of taste.