Macworld 1995 Macintosh Game Hall of Fame

By Steven Levy

Best Shoot-'em-up


Changeling, 512/419-7085;$49.95 (disk).

Some cosmically inspired concepts can't be improved upon. Here's one of them: take a lot of weird-looking aliens and blast them to pieces with a gun that looks like a rocket ship. The latest refinement in this aesthetic is PegLeg. It won't win any awards in the original-concept division (besides Galaxian, its heritage includes the whimsical Crystal Crazy from Casady & Greene). But it will keep you playing. And playing.

What makes PegLeg particularly special-and compulsively seductive even to a jaded alien-blaster with an arthritic trigger finger-is its loving attention to detail. Each floating foe is deliciously rendered and bequeathed with a single onerous trait. One of them, after being shot, leaves a falling piece of debris that is fatal when it hits you. Another is an insectlike creature that leaps at you, blowing you to shreds at a mere touch. Then there's the SideWinder. Let's not talk about the SideWinder.

But, oh, such pleasure in blasting away the one that particularly irks you. At every turn, the PegLeg designers provide you with thoughtful features, such as an option for slow-speed play (for the kiddies) and double-speed play (for caffeine-snorting Power Mac fools). If you have a large monitor, PegLeg will fill it up. The game's crowning masterpiece is the unspeakably cool way that the renegade pirate hordes, who have vanquished you, drift to the center of the screen to morph into those dreaded words game over. It softens the frustration as you immediately, unthinkingly, unhesitatingly click on New Game to try again.

Macworld January 1996 Page 80