Best of Game Pass, Week 1: Peggle 2

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Welcome to Best of Gams Pass where each week I’m going to pick out a game available on Game Pass and explain why I think it is worth playing. While I’ll certainly include some of the bigger titles available on the service, I’ll focus more on other games that you might have overlooked in the hope of leading you to a hidden gem.

Peggle 2 made its way onto Game Pass fairly recently thanks to EA Play getting rolled into the already gigantic library of titles. And what a brilliant addition it is, a colourful explosion of goodness that is fine-tuned to make you smile. Over the years since its initial launch in 2013, Peggle 2 has become a game I go back to regularly when I’m looking to just kick back and relax with something simple yet satisfying, easy yet tricky. While people argue over whether Peggle 2 is a good sequel or not, for me it’s easily the best of the available Peggle games.

But what is Peggle 2, aside from being more cheerful than your grandma who hasn’t seen you for a few weeks and has been cooking all day in order to ensure you leave looking like a human meatball? Peggle 2 is a puzzle game where you have a simple goal: get rid of all the orange pegs on the screen. Blocking your progress are loads and loads of blue pegs that will need to be cleared out. At the top of the screen you’ve got a cannon filled with exactly ten balls that you can fire down the screen, hopefully bouncing your shot off of multiple pegs along the way.

That’s the basic concept, but there are some added complexities to think about. First, you can get extra balls by scoring enough points during a shot. Every orange peg you clear builds up a multiplier which makes the blue pegs worth more, so it’s good Peggle strategy to clear out a bunch of the orange pegs as early as you can, especially when chasing high scores in order to complete optional goals or just to beat your friends. On top of that, there’s a moving bucket on the bottom of the screen and getting the ball in that grants you extra points, and a bonus ball. You can also score extra points for a bunch of different shots, like 25,000 points for performing a long shot between orange pegs.