App Review: Peggle by PopCap Games, Inc.

peggle1 150x150 App Review: Peggle by PopCap Games, Inc.Peggle by PopCap Games is both fun and challenging.  The game seems easy at first, but it takes some thought and a little bit of luck to get very far in the game.  The object of the game is to clear all of the orange pegs from the screen by shooting them.

Each level contains a different arrangement of orange, blue, purple, and green pegs.  You have 10 shots per level in which to clear all the orange pegs.  To aim your shot, you can either use the scroll wheel on the right hand side of the screen or you can drag your finger across the screen.  A trajectory line will be displayed to help you aim better.  You can also zoom in your view by double tapping the screen.  Once you get the shot aimed, you press the “Fire” button to shoot.  Then, watch as the ball bounces around the screen.  The pegs that are hit will light up and then disappear when the ball falls off the screen.  At the very bottom of the screen there is a bucket that moves back and forth.  If your ball happens to fall in there, you get it back, giving you another shot.  While it is almost impossible to aim the ball such that it falls in the bucket, these extra shots can be extremely helpful.

The orange pegs are the only ones that you must remove in order to beat each level.  However, it is often in your best interest to remove the other colors as well.  The blue pegs don’t offer any bonuses, but clearing them gives you points and opens up the screen so that you can get to the orange balls more easily.  The green pegs have magic powers in the form of extra balls, extra help aiming shots, and others that are released when they are hit.  The purple pegs give you extra points.  If you get 25,000 points in a single turn, you can earn another shot.

peggle3 269x180 custom App Review: Peggle by PopCap Games, Inc.peggle8 269x180 custom App Review: Peggle by PopCap Games, Inc.

Peggle has four different types of game play.  It is not a game that you will exhaust in an afternoon or even a day.  The first mode is Adventure mode.  You have to start here in order to unlock some of the other modes and levels.  Once you successfully complete the first five levels, you can go on to play some of the other game modes.  Quick Play mode allows you to choose the level that you want to play from the levels that you have already completed.  Challenge mode is designed for those who want a real challenge.  There are 40 challenge levels that you can play after you complete all the levels in the Adventure mode.  Duel mode allows you to play 2-player games against either a friend or the computer.  In a 2-player game, players take turns shooting at the pegs on the screen to see who can get the highest score.  A penalty is levied against players who do not hit an orange ball on their turn.

Other neat features of Peggle include the ability to earn trophies, track your game stats, and save instant replays of your shots to show friends later.  Peggle is an addicting game for all ages.  It will keep you coming back for more.

Peggle is $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Developer’s Website: http://www.popcap.com

App Review: Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc.

March 27, 2009 by Dorothy  
Filed under Daily App Reviews, Educational, Games

bookwormsquare1 150x150 App Review: Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc.Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc. (the makers of Bejeweled) is a unique word spelling game.  The game board consists of seven columns containing 7 letters each.  You must spell words using letters that are adjacent to one another.  The letters in each column are offset from the ones in the adjacent column so that you have more choices of letter sequences.  To spell a word, you simply tap on the letters in the right order to spell a word and double tap the last letter to submit the word.  As you might expect longer words earn you more points.  After you have submitted a word, the letters used in that word disappear from the screen and the letters above them fall down and new ones fill in the board at the top.  This process is very reminiscent of the game Bejeweled.

There are a couple of unique tiles that begin to appear as you play the game.  First, are the bonus tiles.  They appear green and give you extra points when you use them to spell a word.  The red, burning tiles are a different story.  These tiles must be used to spell a word before they reach the bottom of the game board or they will burn down the library and the game will be over.  At first, this task does not seem too hard.  However, if you use tiles below the burning tile causing it to fall down, it may just burn through the tile below it and advance towards the bottom more quickly than expected.  You can help avoid these burning tiles by spelling longer words.  The longer the words you spell, the less often these unwanted tiles will show up.

bookworm1 200x300 App Review: Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc.bookworm2 200x300 App Review: Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc.

If you get stuck and cannot find anymore words to spell, you can shake your iPhone/iPod.  This shaking motion will shuffle the letter tiles around.  It will also add more burning tiles to the screen.  You definitely have to way the benefit against the risk. As you spell words, the app will pick out certain words that belong to a category and add them to the library.  Each book in the library contains a list of words that all belong to the same category.  One of your goals in playing the game is to fill up the library books.

bookworm3 200x300 App Review: Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc.bookworm4 200x300 App Review: Bookworm by PopCap Games, Inc.

If you get tired of playing the game a want a little more of a challenge, there is a timed mode.  It is a little bit of a misnomer because you are not really timed, but you are racing against time.  If you take too long to spell a word in this mode, the tiles will begin catching on fire and turning into burning tiles.  Before you know it, you have several letters burning that you need to use fast.

I found this game to be addicting.  It was harder to find words to spell than I had anticipated.  Although, I am sure with some practice, it would get easier.  I was also surprised at how slowly the difficulty increased.  This slow progression allowed me to play for a longer time and achieve a higher score.  The one complaint that I would voice would be that the game did not recognize all the words I thought it should.

Overall, Bookworm is a great word game that will keep you coming back to beat your last high score.

Bookworm is $4.99 in the iTunes App Store.

Developer Website: popcap.com

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