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The Physics of Peggle

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michaelkennedy

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In the popular arcade game, Peggle, the player fires metal balls out of a cannon in an attempt to hit every orange peg in the level that are surrounded by a sea of useless blue pegs. Once a peg is hit, regardless of color. it disappears and the player is given points. It seems simple, but really it is a complex and difficult game given that there is no indicator of where your metal ball will land when fired. Having a basic knowledge of kinematics and the downward acceleration of gravity will help players to estimate where their ball will land to maximize their points earned and also to make cool bank-shots.  Since the acceleration of the metal ball is the same for every shot, playing the game frequently will give you a "feel" for how far the ball will bounce and at what angle it will be deflected off of the other pegs. Some of the most satisfying moments in the game are when you correctly estimate a complex shot that bounces from orange peg to orange peg, and gives you an explosion of points. Peggle: simple on the outside, but loaded with physics on the inside.

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