PopCap was a company that created great puzzle games like Bejeweled, which served as the basis for the mobile hit Candy Crush, originally published Peggle. When Electronic Arts, better known as EA, bought PopCap in July 2011, fans of their games. EA has earned an infamous reputation for their aggressive and exploitative business strategies. Peggle Blast is another shining example of their practices ruining the games from days of nostalgia and innocence as it encourages players not just to purchase more chances to play the game, but to spread its venom towards others.
First Look At Peggle Blast
Before starting up the game, Peggle Blast asks for permission to access the contacts, the phone, and photos, media and other parts of the mobile device where it's installed. The player requires none of these to play the game, so it's best not to allow access. Graphically, the game isn't as impressive as its 2007 original in graphics but considering this game's focus on gameplay, this is a minor complaint. The game starts by being introduced to Bjorn the Unicorn who serves as the tutorial guide and the character for the first part of the game.
How To Play Peggle Blast
Basic Controls And Gameplay
Peggle Blast has the player using their finger to move the top ball dispenser left and right. Tapping the Screen will launch a ball from the dispenser. The goal of the game is to hit certain targets known as Peggles or Pegs to clear levels.
Pegs are the focus of Peggle Blast. These are balls and squares the player must clear that to win. The speed and angle of the ball hitting the peg will affect its trajectory.
Balls are what the player uses to complete levels. Balls access new abilities by hitting power pegs that will grant the player an ability based on the character at the top of the screen. If a player runs out of balls, they must restart the level, or pay to buy more via microtransactions.
Lives are the chances the player has to complete a level and gives them the chance to attempt a level. Lives restore every 30 minutes but can the player can purchase them via microtransactions.
There is a circular basket moving at the bottom of every level. If a ball enters the basket, the ball will be saved and is used again in the level. It is possible to keep having the ball land in the basket and having the same ball saved indefinitely. When the multiball power is used and the extra balls land in the basket, they are added to the balls the player can use in the level.
Last Save Coin Toss
If the player runs out of balls before the last aim of the level is complete, a coin toss occurs with an angel and devil ball on the coin's sides. If the coin lands on the angel, the player is granted an extra ball. If the coin lands on the devil, the level is over. The coin toss will occur until the player completes the level or the coin toss lands on the devil.
Upon completing a level, the last ball and the remaining balls in the launcher will be sent into the map at random set to Beethoven's Ode to Joy. Bonus areas that spell the word BLAST will appear, and if the six points above the letters are hit by the balls, a Blast will occur, and the player will receive a 100,000 point bonus.
These are the most common peg type in the game. Blue pegs will disappear after being hit once a new ball is in play. If a blue peg stops a ball from falling to the bottom after a short amount of time, it will disappear.
Orange Pegs are worth more points than their blue counterparts and are functionally identical to them. They are the focus of Orange Peggle levels.
Magic (Purple) Pegs
Magic pegs are bonus point pegs. They will add extra points to the overall score.
Power (Green) Pegs
Power pegs will allow the player to use the power of the character featured at the top of the screen and vary depending on the character.
Key (Gold And Silver) Pegs
Key pegs are impossible to destroy using launched balls. Players can eliminate all of them at once by collecting the respective key corresponding to their color.
Orange Peggle Levels
This is the most common kind of level in Peggle Blast. Here, the player will have to launch balls into a set amount of orange pegs. Destroying all the orange pegs will clear the level. All other forms of pegs may be present in these levels. If the player doesn't hit all the orange pegs, they must retry the level.
Phoenix Hatching Levels
In this level type, players must hit a set number of eggs three times to hatch a Phoenix egg. Upon hatching, the Phoenix will fly upwards and clear all pegs above it, granting all the bonuses to the player. If a Phoenix egg falls before being hatched, it costs one life to replace it. If balls run out before all eggs are hatched, the player must retry the level.
Long Shot Levels
This level type has the players launching balls to hit and bounce off pegs and hit other pegs at a distance a certain amount of times. If the player runs out of balls or pegs before clearing the required amount, they must retry the level.
All Clear Levels
As the name suggests, the player must clear all pegs in the stage to clear this level type. If the player doesn't clear pegs, they must retry the level.
This level type is identical to the Orange Peggle levels, with an added twist. After each ball launch, the color of pegs in the level will rearrange. including the orange ones. The amount of previously eliminated pegs will drop before each ball launch. If the player doesn't hit all the orange pegs, they must retry the level.
In these stages, the player must collect keys to clear the level. If the player doesn't collect the keys before running out of balls, they must retry the level.
These levels involve crystals that rest on top of pegs. The player must clear the pegs below the crystals to make them fall towards the bottom. If the player doesn't make all the crystals fall, they must retry the level.
This is the hardest level type. Here, players must successfully clear one to three levels of varying types before reaching a score attack mode against another character, where the player must score more points than the other character to win.
Strategies & Tips
Know The Trajectory
The most important strategy is to learn where the balls will bounce to get the results desired. More than understanding the basics of the bounces, players should try to memorize the angles and directions of the balls after they've been launched to repeat or avoid previous results.
Know The Bonuses
By using long shots, slide bonuses, hitting many pegs with one ball, and a few more techniques, the player can rack up point bonuses. The game awards an extra ball at an extra 25,000 points, so it's best to seize the opportunities for them.
Know The Powers
Every section in this game is divided by characters playable in their respective sections. Understanding the different powers of each playable character makes the difference between a successful use of one and a failure.
Know The Hazards
This game features hazards that will impede a player's progress. Some of these are simple to overcome, such as spiders that spin webs on the pegs, making it impossible to clear them until the following turn, by hitting them with a ball and stunning them. The most nefarious one of these is the new one, a fireball which will destroy a ball upon contact, and it will not disappear until it destroys three balls.
Save Up Lives For Boss Levels
Unlike all other stages, Boss Levels are the longest. Every time a player fails to beat them, they must attempt the level from the beginning. Using lives will allow the player to continue the level until they clear it.
Microtransactions And Advertisements
Advertisements are one nail in this game's coffin, as they happen after the player completes or fails a level, and there is no way to turn them off without paying to do so. Even then, the player will constantly be hounded by the game's suggestions to use microtransactions to make the game easier. This ruins the point of Peggle Blast, which is to be a fun and luck-based puzzle game, and these just add to the frustration. Some prices can get steep, too, and because they build up after a while, this free to play game will cost players more than they realize.
Peggle Blast is not a game to pick up unless a player is nostalgic for the days of PopCap Games or wants a puzzle game to waste time and money on. In both cases, there is a better alternative by downloading Steam, a video game service that will sell Peggle Deluxe for five dollars with no added ads and microtransactions, or by choosing a better puzzle game that EA didn't publish. Peggle Blast will disappoint fans and people looking for a good game due to the ads and microtransactions, especially when the best version of the game is available on Steam. This game gets a 3/10.