A Review Of Pegging Escape By Probe5

Review by sticki on Monday, October 30th 2017
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Click to play Pegging Escape

Pegging Escape is a game created by probe5

My name is sticki, and I love song. As much as I love song though, the crisp sound of a vinyl cannot beat a game made on deprecated software by one person during their free-time. Sploder games are an anomaly, because the quality of a sploder game will always be sub-par in comparison to a legitimate flash game, yet Sploder games have a charm that you can't find anywhere else. I believe you're only able to truly appreciate sploder games once you've gone through the process of making some of your own. As a result, you develop a third eye for realizing exactly how much effort was put into a game, and whether or not said game is worth bestowing the fabled five star rating onto.


The past year has been brutal for sploder, with activity reaching record-low numbers and only decreasing as every waking month passed by. This does not spell out good fortune for the games industry on the site, and it wasn't until Probe5 dropped a brand new game out of nowhere that I had given up entirely on looking forward to new Sploder games. This game, Pegging Escape, was posted on the sploder discord and I had just so happened to come across a link when marking all of the server channels as read. I had never played a game by Probe5 before, and had no idea what to expect. As soon as I had finished the first level though, I was hooked. Probe5 introduced the classic concept of manipulating a ball's surrounding environment to get it to point A to point B in an ingenious way. Using minimalistic graphics and a balanced learning curve, the first few levels had caught my attention and they would not let go.


The first half of the game, if not directly inspired by these titles, shared numerous similarities with games like "Cut the Rope" and "Peggle". The first level was a tutorial, easing the player into what they would encounter with the coming segments. The following levels utilized the elements from the tutorial along with unique scenarios and original puzzles that were not too tedious and tons of fun.


Unfortunately, the first half of the game only intensified the disappointment I felt for the second half. What Probe had done was introduce very interesting and useful concepts throughout the former levels, but with every level having something new happening and level 6 introducing too many new things for the game itself to handle in a uniform manner, the project began falling apart. Almost every single move the player would make had to be encountered previously, because cheap deaths were littered across the latter half of the game. The most frustrating part had to be the shift from using skill for level completion to using pure luck. Almost every scenario turned into hoping that your ball, affected by gravity, fell at the exact second a disappearing platform had spawned so the player would not fall through the map. If the player was lucky enough for that to happen, their joy wouldn't last much longer before they encountered a bug within the game that clipped their player out of existence to trigger the end game event.


In the midst of all these errors throughout the game, I still had a great time playing it and saw creative ideas throughout the entirety of the project. I don't believe Probe5 rushed the latter half of the game. Instead, I think he had overdone the levels. While you did encounter more problems and frustration as you progressed, there's still so much to enjoy and a lot of fun to be had in the final levels.


My favorite level had to be the most frustrating level of the entire game, being level 8. It introduced two orbs that would be dropped down a hole into a play-field, akin to how a Pachi nko machine would play. Never before had I seen the concept done so well on Sploder, and the level could have been perfect if not for one major flaw. The level seemed to have represented two play-fields, or two Pachi nko machines. The right play-field had a stationary target and a moving orb. This scenario allows this particular section to be handled with skill. I was able to time each shot and land them onto the target and beat this part of the level without a problem. Sadly though, the other side of of the level had both a moving target and a moving orb. This once again turned a game of skill into a game of luck, and it wasn't until Eighteen minutes and Twenty-three seconds later that I was finally able to complete the latter half.


The game as a whole is worth checking out. Look past the flaws and you'll find yourself a truly enjoyable experience. While it surely wasn't flawless, the game had so much to offer and the enjoyability of the project casts a shadow over the errors it comes packaged with. Games that have used similar concepts with far less flaws I've found to be less enjoyable than what Probe5 brought to the table, so please take the time to give at least the first half of the game a solid play-through. I'm sure you won't be disappointed.