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Peglin Review - Fear the Pachinko Goblin

Updated: Jul 7



Peglin is a roguelite by way of Peggle and, thanks to Roundguard, is somehow not the first game I've played with this exact mashup of mechanisms. Just like in Peggle, the core idea is that you need to launch a ball each turn so it falls down a pachinko board and ideally hits as many pegs as possible. Peglin, though, uses those hits to decide how much damage you do to enemies that are advancing towards you. You win each level by defeating those levels and will almost always advance without even getting close to clearing the board.

In theory, most of the fun in Peglin comes from skillfully aiming your shots to hit bombs, refresh orbs, and critical hit markers that boost your shot's damage. In practice, the outlandish behaviors of the more advanced orbs combined with the many relics you'll pick up over the game means that you don't really have much control over what happens after the first bounce. Many later maps have partially or fully hidden boards that make it even more impossible to predict what will happen, so success is realistically mostly about having enough buffs that your ball will bounce around for a while no matter what happens.

Similarly, while the various enemies all theoretically have unique behaviors and attacks, in practice they all seem to be handled pretty well with that same strategy of just having your shots bounce around for as long as possible. Some situations are more or less favorable to bombs and crits, sure, but if your ball bounces around the board for a minute, it'll have hit plenty of both along the way.

Peglin is still in early access at the time I'm writing this, so it's possible that later updates will add new modifiers or enemies that shake things up a bit more. As it is, it's fun enough to watch the ball bounce around for a bit, but I probably won't go back for much more than the roughly two hours that I've already played. Get it on sale if you want a mostly mindless podcast game a don't mind it being quite short.

Rating: 70%

Time to beat: 2 hours.

MSRP: $20

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