Peggle mania

Peggle, the PopCap pseudo-pachinko casual addictive-as-heck hit, has been available on the PC for a good long while, but last week it came out on the Nintendo DS, and this week it hits XBox Live Arcade.

It’s an incredibly fun game and I urge everyone to give it a go, but is it a casual game, or is it hardcore?

Wired asks just this question in Getting Lucky: Hard-Core Gamers Penetrate Peggle’s Physics.

It’s an interesting read for both Peggle enthusiasts and armchair (or for-reals) game designers. Quick quote to get you warmed up:

For a casual gamer, Peggle seems too heavily based on luck. You aim the ball, but once you’ve dropped it and it hits the first peg, all bets are off: It bounces and careens through the forest of pegs in crazy, zigzagging patterns. For casual players, there doesn’t seem to be a clear enough correlation between how they aim and the results.

But hard-core gamers see the game quite differently. When they look at the Peggle board, they see the Euclidean geometry that governs how the ball falls and pings around.