Pick Up Post: Peggle Nights

I’m not sure if I’ve said this on my blog before, but I’ve said it aloud many times to anyone that talks to me about iPhone games: I love Peggle. If you have not played Pop Cap’s digital version of cocaine, you are missing out on one of the most fun games in the last few years. I admit to being late to this party, too, since I didn’t buy a version of Peggle until it hit the iTunes store. By then, the sequel, Peggle Nights, was already available on PC and Mac. For us iPhone Peggle addicts, we’ve been waiting for over a year for the sequel to hit the iTunes store.

A few weeks ago, it did, along with a patch that for me, made both games worse.

Peggle Nights is available now as an in-app purchase. The moment I got home, I downloaded the latest Peggle update to enable this transaction to happen. The problem is, the update completely broke the game. It would crash on the Pop Cap Games logo every time.

A patch to address this hit quickly, but hasn’t solved all of the issues for me. The game will still frequently crash at the Pop Cap Games logo, and once I do get past the logo, everything runs way slower than before. To be fair, I’m running it on a first-generation iPod Touch. However, regular Peggle ran fine before the update, and now it runs like crap.

How bad is it? On my first-generation iPod Touch, both Peggle and Peggle Nights suffer from performance issues that hurt the gameplay. The game has notable slow-down, even on the earliest levels and the inconsistent frame-rate actually makes the game harder to play. When using the wheel on the right hand side, there’s a notable lag now between your input and what the game interprets. On top of that, the choppiness actually makes it harder to aim because the frame-rate causes your shot path to jitter around wildly. It feels like I’m now trying to play Peggle in a freezer and I’m shivering.

Why did this patch cause such a performance drop on my iPod? Before this, Peggle ran fine. After the patch, it sucks. And it’s not like Peggle Nights is that much more intensive than regular Peggle.

I’ve also tried the game on my iPad. While it’s not optimized for the screen, it runs just fine.

I’m still psyched to get more Peggle, but not like this. I want to play Peggle Nights anywhere I go, and that shouldn’t require me to keep my iPad in my back pocket. Considering the fact that regular Peggle ran fine before this, there’s no excuse for why this game performs worse.

When I play more of it, I’ll post a review for Peggle Nights. For now, I’ll either smoothly sail through it on iPad or chug along on the iPod Touch.

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