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Peggle comes to iPhone and iPod Touch

Having conquered the PC, Mac, Xbox, Nintendo DS, and Web, pinball-meets-Pachinko classic Peggle has finally made its way to the iPhone. Warning: Your productivity may suffer.

Peggle, the ridiculously entertaining Pachinko-inspired game that debuted on the Web and quickly spread to nearly every platform known to man, has finally arrived in the App Store. Farewell (again), personal productivity!

The game requires almost no skill: You just point your pinball at the pegs and shoot. The goal is to clear all the orange pegs using the allotted number of balls. The fun lies in watching the ball carom down the table, knocking out pegs as it eventually ricochets through to the bottom.

Peggle makes a glorious, if slightly buggy, debut on the iPhone.

Of course, careful aim can help improve your chances, as can various power-ups, bonuses, and "magic" powers (including pinball-like flippers that appear temporarily to help you keep your ball in play). Cute sound effects add to the fun, though the game's original background music is curiously, sadly absent.

In most other respects, the iPhone version looks and plays exactly like the original. One minor variation: You use your finger in place of a mouse to line up your shot. A double-tap of the screen zooms you in for greater aiming precision.

Like the original, Peggle for iPhone offers an impressive 55 levels, though only 40 Grand Master challenges (versus 75 in the desktop version). Even so, there's more than enough gameplay here to keep you entertained, and winning various stages unlocks additional modes--like the two-player Duel.

The game is slow to load, and it seemed to lag a bit after a few levels. For example, my ball didn't fire until a second or two after I tapped the Fire button. The fireworks display that erupts after clearing the last orange peg seemed particularly slow, and on a few occasions the accompanying victory march failed to play.

At $4.99, Peggle feels a little pricey, especially considering the availability of less-expensive clones like Pachingo ($0.99) and Rockchinko ($1.99).

On the other hand, if you liked the original, you'll undoubtedly love the iPhone version, bugs and all. Alas, there's no Lite version for those new to the game, but you can always play Peggle on the Web free of charge.

Personally, I think it's $5 well spent. Peggle is a blast for all ages, a perfect way to kill five minutes--or 45.