Hothead Games tries their hand at Peggle in Kickin Momma

When Peggle hit the scene back in 2007, people simple couldn’t get enough of its pachinko-inspired ways. Since then a number of games have tried to copy PopCap’s winning formula. Sushi Cat, Dachinko, aYa-Manku – they all put their own unique spin on pachinko gameplay. Kickin Momma is the latest such game to follow in Peggle‘s wake, but it fails to do anything really unique enough to stand out.

The story in Kickin Momma is strange, if not a little unpleasant. A monster mommy finds herself in front of a shop window eying a dazzling piece of jewellery. With money in short supply, she returns home knowing it can never be hers – until she realizes that she can get gems that are just as pretty by kicking her babies into rocks to reveal jewels of a similar quality. This sets up all the story you’ll need to know as you embark on 36 levels of Peggle-style fun.

To kick the babies through each puzzle, players will control Momma as she stands at the top left of the screen. Using a finger, you’ll be able to guide your kick to its initial point of impact. Kickin Momma does a fairly good job of allowing for precise aiming, as you’ll be able to tap on the screen where you want your baby to land, but then nudge to get a more exact location using an on-screen d-pad and something akin to a magnifying glass.

The object of each level is to knock a minimum number of gems to the ground to be collected by a vacuum. Sometimes this can be impeded by the gems landing on pegs and getting stuck on their descent down – this is fine, and all part of the game. Sometimes this can be impeded by the vacuum triggering while the gems are still falling. This is not fine, and on more than one occasion ended up costing us the round.

Little issues like this were a tad frustrating, but honestly, with the game as easy as it was there was little reason to complain about being forced to restart a level due to the occasional hiccup. In fact the game’s level of challenge is so low that no stage ever required more than two attempts for us to complete. And with only 36 levels at launch, this means Kickin Momma doesn’t really last much more than an hour before you’ve completed every stage.

Kickin Momma

At least Kickin Momma does manage to offer two good pieces of replay incentive. While levels require a certain number of gems to complete, they don’t usually require all of the gems – this means players can go back and retry a stage, this time leaving no gem behind. Likewise, Kickin Momma offers medals for reaching different score milestones in every level. So even if you have all the gems, you may still want to go back to try and get the gold.

Little touches like bomb pegs, fire and ice pegs, and pegs that multiply the number of babies all helped to keep Kickin Momma fun – but with a general lack of challenge and originality, there simply wasn’t anything here to blow us away. Fans of Peggle will no doubt enjoy what Kickin Momma has to offer, but at the same time, it doesn’t offer anything we haven’t seen before.