Get an early look at Peggle 2 for Xbox One with our hands-on footage and interview

Sylvain Dubrofsky of PopCap Games and Windows Phone Central's Paul Acevedo

Microsoft’s Xbox One console is in stores now and doing very well; we even gave it a highly detailed review last week. Early adopters have more than twenty games to choose from, most of which are actually quite good. We’ll be reviewing more of those titles very soon, but in the meantime let’s look ahead at the next great Xbox game to go on sale: Peggle 2!

PopCap’s Peggle 2 is one of the upcoming Xbox One titles we played during our visit to Electronic Arts headquarters just before Thanksgiving. If you’ve ever played the original Peggle on Xbox 360, PC, DS, or phones (sadly it never arrived on Windows Phone), you should know why we’re excited for the sequel. Peggle 2 launches as a timed exclusive on Xbox One this Monday as an $11.99 download.

Head past the break for our video interview and hands-on footage of Peggle 2 in action!

Taking down the pegs

Peggle is a deceptively simple game. Each level consists of an assortment of colored pegs and bricks for players to destroy by firing balls at them. Blue pegs just give points, purple pegs add to your score multiplier, green pegs activate your character’s special power, and all orange pegs (they look red) must be cleared to finish the level.

Players have ten balls with which to take down all those pegs. You aim and fire the ball from a launcher at the top center of the screen. Once it hits a peg, the ball bounces around realistically, hopefully striking other pegs before it falls off the bottom of the screen. Hit enough pegs in one shot, or get the ball to land in the moving bucket at the bottom, and you’ll earn a free ball instead of depleting your supply. These mechanics combine skillful aiming and reflection judging (much like pool) with a fun element of chance.

Improvements galore

The original Peggle was always designed for 4:3 monitors, so even the great XBLA version didn’t take advantage of its widescreen presentation. The new game runs at a native 1080P resolution and really benefits from the wider presentation. The playable Peggle Masters occupy the left side of the screen, where they react to gameplay and animated like real cartoon characters. The backgrounds themselves are lush and filled with parallax scrolling. Everything has so much more life than before.

This sequel allows players to select between five Peggle Masters, including the returning unicorn Bjorn and four new ones. Bjorn still has his advanced aiming ability that provides a detailed guideline while aiming. The new masters have more complex and creative abilities. Luna the ghost girl, for instance can fire shots that pass through blue pegs in order to reach the orange pegs behind them. Berg the yeti’s special shots cause pegs to move around and bump into each other, knocking out whatever they hit.

Peggle 2 plays just like the first game, but its campaign mode works a little differently now. Each Peggle Master still has his or her own set of 10 levels to play through. After clearing a set, these levels can be revisited in any order with the Master of your choice.

Standard levels have three optional objectives to go after, such as clearing all pegs or making specific types of shots. Every master also offers 10 Trial levels with pass-or-fail objectives. Complete the Trail mode or complete enough optional challenges and you’ll unlock new outfits for the Peggle Masters.

The online multiplayer mode first introduced in the Xbox 360 version makes a return as well. We haven’t tested it yet but playing Peggle with friends can never be a bad thing.

Almost here!

Peggle 2 first appeared on PCs in 2007, so this sequel has been a long time in coming. Xbox One players will be able to play it first, just like the upcoming Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare. Both are timed exclusives and welcome additions to the Xbox One lineup. You might not buy a powerful new console just to play a small-scale game like Peggle 2, but you’ll definitely be missing out if you don’t add this one to your collection.

Peggle 2 arrives on Monday, December 9th. It will cost $11.99. Grab it from the Games Store on your console or once it becomes available. We’ll have a full review soon!

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • Excellent, passionate about gaming article as usual. And you're right One's first batch games are actually quite good. Loving NFS: Rivals and Dead Rising. Looking forward to Peggle.
  • Is there a WP version?
  • If there was, we would tell you about it in the article.
  • Lol that sounds like an attitude.
  • Everyone that works at WPCentral is a dightright jerk most of the time. Daniel is the worst though.
  • Shoot dude, at least I gave him an honest answer.
  • "No word on a Windows phone version" What is wrong with typing that? Learn to respect your readers. You're a game jounualist for a website based around a phone operationing system, you're not god so stop acting like your better than us just because you went down to EA with your tripod. 
  • Who says I didn't respect him? It sounds like you're the one with a chip on your shoulder. Maybe you should work on your own manners before you run around calling everyone jerks and whatnot.
  • I love lamp.
  • So answering his question the way you did wasn't disrecptful? nothing to do with my manners by the way, what i do and speak is my business. If i was working and trying to act professional then i'd use the correct manners for that said situation, something you can't seem to do. 
  • Haha, I've had my fair share of "WTF" moments in regards to the editors.  However, I never had too much of an issue with their candor.  Saying that, WPC used to be a much more niche site with a smaller community where many of us knew each other and how each editor responded to questions/complaints.  Those day are probably over as newer viewers won't understand the ins and outs of all of this. So, yeah, there have been many a unprofessional response and comment from people who run the site and it really should stop.  That's just my opinion though.  We come here for news, not snippyness ;) On top of that, many times in the past we've been led to believe that you guys knew SOMETHING behind closed doors in regards to games, apps, phones but wouldn't say it until it was absolutely confirmed.  On the other hand, you release the most asinine of information at times when it's not confirmed.  So, saying "We would've told you about it..." doesn't really jive with past information.  You are the professionals.  Let us know what you think or else people will go to other sites to try to find the information.
  • We appreciate your readership, Tjalsma. :-) There certainly are places in which site staff are unlikely to participate in article comments... You know, we don't get paid for commenting but we do it anyway because we love the topics we write about and interacting with our readers. I don't know what examples you're thinking of with us hinting at knowing more than we really do. I can only speak for myself, but 99% of the time my articles are researched and vetted as much as physically possible. The only time I let one slip through without proper research was our Subway Surfers story (in which I did contact the devs but they didn't answer before or after we went to press). As far as knowing and keeping things under embargo, that is just a requirement for people in our profession. If you don't respect embargos, you lose credibility and access to further stories from the source of the embargo and other companies who learn about the breakage. If an embargo exists, we can't say much besides "There is no WP version coming" or "I don't know." Anything else hints that the software IS coming, which would be breaking embargo. I don't usually find myself in that situation, but you should try to understand the constraints that journalists have to work with instead of using the situation as a sign that we're dishonest or something.
  • Sorry Paul but, as others have said, it wasn't the nicest reply in the world. (Nothing wrong with it in my book but i can see how it can be taken)
  • Ah well. Any meanness was unintentional.
  • I saw major nelson playing this last night. :)
  • Yeah! I went through some of the game DVR clips he uploaded a few days ago... Jealous.
  • When are ID@Xbox games coming?
  • Next year.
  • They really needed it now.
  • Maybe it's not ready yet ?
  • The program was just introduced a few months ago, right?  I think the first titles are due early 2014, so a couple months from now.  I look forward to checking some of the devs out.
  • Yeah, the program should have been in place well before the Xbox One launch. I think Microsoft was its usually dismissive self about indies, and then scrambled to create a program when Sony announced their expanded indie support. I'm excited about what the announced indie developers will bring to the console though.
  • Wp8? W8?
  • In time.
  • Hope this game makes it to Xbox 360 after the timed exclusive. Did you grill PopCap about more WP games, Paul? ;)
  • I always ask, but PopCap is super tight lipped about upcoming stuff. I think Peggle 2 has a decent chance of arriving on WP8 eventually... But Plants vs. Zombies 2 would likely come first.
  • Damn hope you are right! Want those two so badly..
  • I'd be happy with either! Thanks for trying.
  • Why cant Xbox 360 have Peggle 2
  • It's a timed exclusive. It'll probably get to the 360 in a bit.
  • Can't wait to get the cartridge for my Commodore 64!!!
  • Wouldn't an 8-bit demake of Peggle be cool though? I'd play that.
  • I would love to see a WP version
  • Paul, you're the games guy. Where's Minion Rush and Temple Run 2? They got cancelled?
  • They're still coming, but neither title ever had a release date. Takes time!
  • Personally, I think the pegs look orange.
  • This game looks AWESOME! I LOVE the sound effects and bgm!!! This needs to come to windows phone! Or at least I hope they bring it to W8
  • Bought it . Worth the price tag.
  • I look forward to playing it!  Thanks Paul
  • Need some PVC figures to go with it. Especially Luna.
  • Word of warning to everyone.  This is essentially "Peggle 2 Beta:  No Local Multiplayer Included". Seriously, how in the hell was local multiplayer not included?  I am trying to avoid nerd rage but it didn't even cross my mind that there was a possibility of me not being able to play this game with my wife.  There is a growing trend, already, of games not having a "complete" feel on the Xbox One. I would have happily paid at least $20 for Peggle 2 with local multiplayer and I can't believe it isn't pointed out by every reviewer right off the bat.  This is literally like Halo 4 being released with no Xbox Live functionality. As of now, at least until local multiplayer is "sold" to us...I have a digital paperweight on my hard drive.
  • Reviewers aren't making a big deal about Peggle 2 lacking local multiplayer because the first game on Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 didn't have it either. Nor did the PC version, which was the original and lead platform. If this was a game that was known for local multiplayer and then a sequel released without it, reviewers would rightly ding the sequel. But there's no reasonable expectation of local multiplayer in Peggle 2, hence no major disappointment. Not sure why you're thinking of this one as being so multiplayer-focused... Peggle has always been primarily a single-player game. The console versions did add online multiplayer, and Peggle 2 has that as well. It would've been nice to see local multiplayer at launch, but given the rushed launch schedule it's mostly understandable they decided to postpone that feature.
  • PopCap.
    Owned by EA.
    Uhh, no thanks. Not spending $2 on a ball. This isn't real-life pachinko, you idiots.
  • Aska, you say the strangest things. Your comment had nothing to do with the game other than recognizing the developer and EA.
  • It's just that Electronic Arts has that reputation with in-app purchasing. Whatever happened to people spending one price for software and getting updates for free, or in the case of older video games, one price and you were able to beat the game without additional cost?
  • Well, most console games have paid DLC these days. If you play Xbox or Playstation games, you've had many years ot make peace with that. Peggle 2 is already a full game with as much content as the original. If they sell new characters and levels, that's not a big deal because you know what you're getting for $12 and it's a fair deal as-is. Some people can make the argument that Plants vs. Zombies 2 shouldn't have been free to play, but the two games don't use the same payment model at all. And both feel just like classic PopCap games to me.
  • Just seems to me its kinda of odd that they would bring this to Xbox one before WP or W8....