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Peggle goes roguelike in Peglin

Bounced into early access with a demo

Combine the peg-pinging action of Peggle with the roguelikelike dungeon crawling of Slay The Spire and you get Peglin, a delightful game which launched into early access on Monday. Off your cute wee peglin goes on an adventure, battling baddies and claiming treasures, but damage is dealt by pling-plonging orbs down Peggle/pachinko boards and you have a bag of different orbs instead of cards. I like it, and it has a demo you can try for yourself.

So, Pegglefights. In battle, damage you deal is determined by how many pegs and tiles you hit as you pling an orb down the pachinko board. Scattered across the board are a few crit pegs (which boost your damage), bomb pegs (which explode and damage to all foes after taking two hits) and refresh pegs (refilling the board). Enemies move towards you across the battlefield each turn, with some needing to get into melee range, and some bosses doing terrible things to you up close. Then it gets complicated as you gather relics and new types of orb along your adventure through the Spire-style branching maps.

The Daggorb, for example, deals less damage than your starting Stone—unless you hit a crit peg, in which case it'll dispense megamurder. The Icricle can pierce enemies to hit baddies behind. The Matryorbshka deals little damage but splits into several orbs. The Orbsium is a heavy orb that plings less far and hits each peg multiple times. The Bramball roots enemies and deals damage when others pass. It has loads of other types too. Though as in deck-building roguelikelikes, rather than building wide, you might be better off focusing on upgrading a small number of orbs that synergise with the relics you find.

I dig Peglin. I'm a certified Pegglemaniac and that combining with a solid deck-building roguelikelike is so potent to me that it feels almost like an act of cruelty from developers Red Nexus Games. My fingers and brain are slightly irked about the ball's movement, something about the way it bounces and rolls feels slightly off to me, though I don't know if that's lingering Peggle memories or just me making excuses for misplays. Though I do wish that, similar to Peggle, it let me fine-tune aim by scrolling the mousewheel.

And yes, not only does it have orbs, it even has a random encounter with treasure hidden behind a waterfall. Real video game: double-confirmed.

Peglin is available in early access from Steam and Itch.io for Windows and Mac. It currently has a 10% launch discount, bringing the price down to £13.94/€14.84/$17.99. The demo is up on that Steam page, offering the opening chapter.

The devs expect to launch Peglin in full after a year or so of early access. Along with more content, their plans include a meta-progression system, 'Cruciball' difficulty ranks (like Ascension in Slay The Spire or Convenant in Monster Train), seeded runs, and more.

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