Roundguard isn't shy about its Peggle influences. And why should it? With no sign of another PopCap Games peg-pusher anytime soon, there's a pachinko-shaped hole waiting to be filled. For Roundguard developers Wonderbelly Games, that means reimagining Peggle's laser-focused arcade high-score chase as a roguelite dungeon-crawler.
All that's missing is a little Ode To Joy.
Pegs are now potions, treasure, hazards and - worst of all - monsters to slam into with your massive spheroid bod. Hitting different pegs may bestow you with money, a game-changing status effect or sheer raw damage. You'll need to smash and grab as many as you can before hitting a pit of spikes lining the bottom, cutting into your HP.
Once you beef it, it's back to the beginning you go - bringing a trinket or two back from the grave for the next run. Standard roguelite affair, innit?
Three character classes mix up the point 'n' shoot pinball - including a warrior that can charge through foes and pegs with a powerful whirlwind, and a rogue can hold in mid-air to fire off smoke bombs or make a sharp change in trajectory. These round pals can be upgraded with items of various sorts to open up the toolbox. Tumbling through the castle will slowly deliver more quests to complete and oddballs to chat with between fantasy zorbing sessions.
It's a bit of an acquired art-style, mind. One of my regular podcast listens called it "chibi bitmoji", a description as apt as it is terrible. Still, it's about time someone shook up Peggle's digital pachinko - especially as EA seems to have slept on that series for the last seven years.
Roundguard is out now on Steam for £15.49/€16.99/$19.99.