To say that Popcap Games’ new Peggle Nights is our most-awaited Mac game release of the past six months is an understatement. It is, in fact, one of the only games we’ve been really anxious to play on the Mac, particularly as the iPhone version of the original Peggle has been floating around in the ether, unreleased for many months now.
The original Peggle was our 2008 iPod Click Wheel Game of the Year. It took the limited thrills of pachinko, added in a skill-based ball-firing mechanism, and then added both timing and variability elements to the stages. You shoot a ball from the top of a board full of pegs and blocks, eliminating whatever the ball touches, in hopes of removing all of the red items from the screen. If you happen to succeed in eliminating all of the blue items, too, you’re truly a master of the level. One of iLounge’s editors not only completed every one of the game’s levels with the top level of mastery, but beat all of the insane, ancillary “challenges” too. She’s been waiting for a new challenge for months.
Nights doesn’t change the prior game’s formula; instead, it includes 60 new levels and 60 new challenges, as well as one new character, and the promise of an upcoming free level pack with even more content in the Spring. The music’s been shifted to funkier, nighttime tracks, and fans of the prior game will find little in-jokes in the art—for instance, the prior title’s unicorn character first appears in a man of leisure’s evening smoking jacket, and later in crime fighting scenes in the dark of night.
The free demo of Peggle Nights is here if you’re interested in seeing what all the fuss is about, and why we would still care to have the original on our iPhones after all this time. Popcap limits you to 60 minutes of free gameplay in the demo; we’d be surprised if you weren’t addicted by 30 minutes in. The full version is $20.