Death of the Critic

The Backlog - Peggle 2

Written by: Tom Blaich


I have a confession to make. Like many of you reading this, I have a list of games that I’ve been meaning play for years. I have way too many games on Steam, and a stack of cases sitting next to my TV. Close to five hundred games now. Maybe more. It makes me feel guilty. I haven’t touched 90% of them in one way or another. I need to fix that. So this week, I dug deep into my
backlog and pulled out a game. I want to play all of them; I’ve just never had the chance. Now’s the time.

There is something about the
Peggle games that I have always loved. They are so simple, yet so amazingly satisfying and fun to play. The games have character in the purest sense of the word. And a few years back, I bought Peggle 2 on the day that it was launched. But somehow it quickly fell to the bottom of a very long stack of games that I’ve been trying to work through. It has been installed since then, just waiting for me to come back and finish what I started.

I forgot how relaxing it was to play. There are a great many things that I enjoy about this site, but one unfortunate downside is that I’m frequently inundated with “serious” material. Guns, explosions, death, and monologues fill a lot of the time that I get to spend with media, and it can all get a little overwhelming sometimes. So it was nice to kick back and shoot balls at brightly colored pegs as a cartoon unicorn headbanged in the background whenever I did good. The feeling you get when you hit that last orange peg, with the screen slowing down and zooming in to capture that single moment before the screen explodes into an orgy of color and sound. “The Ode to Joy” blaring out of my speakers and fireworks shooting off in the background brings a smile to my face that is quite unlike any other experience in gaming.


It isn’t quite the same as your first time, but it never is. I found myself playing levels over and over again, chasing challenges. It wasn’t frustrating, but fun, as they had nailed the feedback loop to make the process as painless as possible. There are no timers, and no rush so you can play each level at your leisure, and it is easy to restart and replay a level over and over to try to beat every challenge.

There isn’t anything stressful about it, and sitting down with a few friends after dinner and passing around a controller to take turns epitomizes the idea of couch co-op games, without ever touching a co-op mode. There was yelling, gasps, and more than a few bad jokes. At the end of the night I looked back and was glad that I bought this all those years ago. I can’t ask for a better result.



Tom has been writing about media since he was a senior in high school. He likes long walks on the beach, dark liquor, and when characters reload guns in action movies.

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