Roundguard review for Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4

Platform: Nintendo Switch
Also on: Xbox One, PC, PS4
Publisher: Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
Developer: Wonderbelly Games
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E10+

It?s not hard to imagine how Roundguard came into being. I suspect that someone at Wonderbelly Games was sitting around one day playing Peggle, found themselves wishing — as many of us do — that there was a Peggle 3, and then, in the absence of any evidence we?ll ever get a Peggle 3, that person decided to create a version of it themselves.

I don?t know how accurate that scenario is, but it becomes more and more plausible every time I play Roundguard. The game can add all the magical creatures they want to the equation — including a new druid character that just got added to the roster, which is how this game just came across our collective radar now, despite coming out last year — but when you get right down to it, it?s basically Peggle.

I mean, there are some strategic elements here that you wouldn?t find in Peggle. Roundguard describes itself as a dungeon-crawler, and by that, it means that each new board represents one room in a dungeon, and you have to battle your way through those boards to reach bosses at the end of each level. Moreover, unlike traditional Peggle, you?re not constrained by a set number of shots per level, but instead you have to keep your eye on a health meter, which can be diminished both by enemies within the board, as well as a row of nasty-looking spikes at the bottom. You also have an array of weapons to unlock and equip, and you can swap those in depending on your approach.

But even with those changes, Roundguard will feel awfully familiar to anyone who?s ever played Peggle (which should be everyone, because it?s an amazing game). Everything from the way your hero bounces all over the place, to the layouts of the pegs, even to the way the game slows down and zooms in as you near your final obstacle in each level — all of these things feel straight out of Peggle.

Seeing as we?re eight years out from the last proper Peggle game, though, that?s not a bad thing. It?s a great formula, and if EA aren?t doing anything with it, it?s nice to see Roundguard pick it up and give it a whole new coat of paint. It may not be the most original game, but it sure is a lot of fun.

Quantum Astrophysicists Guild provided us with a Roundguard Switch code for review purposes.

Grade: B+