Put simply, Peggle 2 is a casual puzzle game where you fire a cannon filled with balls at a field of pegs. Based on simple physics, how you strike the pegs with the cannon helps determine how the ball moves through the field. The object of each level is to clear all of the orange colored pegs before running out of cannon balls. There are a few ways to earn extra balls like having it fall into a container that floats back and forth along the bottom or scoring more then 25,000 points with one ball. Additionally each level has bonus objectives like scoring a certain amount of points, clearing all the pegs, or pulling off a trick shot.
All of this is presented in a very colorful and inviting cartoon environment. There are, I want to call them "companions", that travel along with you from puzzle to puzzle and grant you a unique bonus. For example, the Unicorn allows you to see the path your ball will take when fired through it's first bounce. This allows you to carefully aim your shots for pulling off that trick you want to hit or making sure you can score the extra ball. Each companion also comes with their own game music. When you complete each level there is a huge fanfare of sound as their particular piece of music reaches it's climax (like the Unicorn's "Ode to Joy"
Completing each companion's set of levels opens up special trials to complete based on the skills you learn during those levels. Complete special trick shots, complete levels with a set number of balls, or even try and finish a level without scoring too many points are just a few examples. It's very family friendly and fairly accessible to all kinds of players who are looking for a good game they can just plop down with on the couch and play for short bursts.
Having never played Peggle myself I checked out this game as a recommendation from a friend. It was around 10 or 11 bucks on the Xbox store. If I had a criticism with this (and a lot of the early titles on Xbox) its a lack of a demo to try it out first. In fact I think this title would be doing much better if people could give a few levels a try. Regardless I'm glad I picked it out. My children enjoy the presentation of the cartoon characters who get animated when I score big points (though I kind of wish the Yeti wouldn't moon me every time I finish a level!). It's a quick game to pick up and it won't take you too long to at least complete every main level. Completionists will want to go back and finish every challenge from each level (there are three per level) and getting them all is actually quite challenging.
One other main criticism I have with the title is the constant uploading of videos. It seems like every time I score big the game is programed to record a clip of it. Not that I mind the clip feature, but sharing Peggle 2 vids isn't exactly high on my priority list. Peggle 2 does not come with the ability to turn off this feature which I find a bit annoying. At the end of the day, Xbox only stores videos for 30 days unless you save them manually so it's not like they will remain on my feed forever. I just prefer to have that kind of control myself.
All in all, if you're looking for something simple and fun to play while you wait for more titles to roll out for the next gen console I recommend Peggle 2. It's fun, casual, the presentation is enjoyable, and completing levels feels satisfying. Give it a try. I think you'll like it!