My excursion into casual gaming is in no way an indication of any sort of unicorn fixation. It’s a curious coincidence and nothing more.
I do not have a unicorn problem.
Let’s proceed, shall we?
Popcap’s “Peggle” franchise was, before Angry Birds came along, the Most Hated Enemy of the Hardcore Gamer, or so I’ve gathered from lurking in various gaming forums over the years. It’s a sort of pachinko-meets-Puzzle-Bobble sort of affair, where your goal is to, well, let’s have a picture for the audience:
As you can see, the screen is covered with an awful lot of little blue things, and a few little orange things, and your goal is to bounce pachinko balls off the assorted things and eventually hit all the little orange things. You’re given a limited number of pachinko balls, though you can earn more during the course of a level, and there are assorted little green and purple things that give you power-ups or more points or what have you.
Basically, it’s the sort of thing anyone should be able to pick up and understand within about five minutes, which probably explains some of the ire thrown its direction.
Now, being the Hardcore Gamer that I am, I certainly wouldn’t pay for such nonsense. There’s no shooting things in the head, there’s no world rendered in assorted shades of brown, and there’s certainly no World Changing Dramatic Storyline told through Carefully-Crafted Set Pieces.
On the other hand, if Valve decided to give me a ten level version of this fluff, tarted up with references to the games of the Orange Box, you couldn’t fault me for giving it a spin, right?
Well, they did, and it sat in my Steam library for a couple of years, and then I decided to give it a go – again, no unicorn fixations, honest – and it took me about half an hour to play through the ten sample levels.
After that I went back and started playing them again.
That’s a bad sign.
Deciding to see what happens if you clear every OTHER colored pin on a level before you clear the last orange pin, that’s another bad sign.
For the record, you get treated to the following two screens:
Now, I of course am far too much of a Serious Gamer to be swayed by bright colors and cheery music and other such trivial kerfluffle, and I certainly will not be buying the full version.
…well, at least not until the Steam Summer Sale.