I just wanted to take a quick minute to tell you all about a game on my iPod Touch that has been taking way too much of my time: Shufflepuck. A lot of you are probably familiar with this game, which is a tabletop version of shuffleboard. Over the years, I have seen variations of this game in numerous bars, restaurants, and old fashioned (as in non-video) game rooms (which are becoming few and far between.) And I have to say that I was impressed by how true to the original game the iPod version came.
Over the years, a number of different variations of tabletop shuffleboard have developed. They are all based on the same general principals, however. The game is played on a waxed wooden surface. Players stand on one end of the long rectangular table (think bowling alley on a table top) and shoot discs toward the other end. The goal is to land your discs in the scoring zones without falling off the edge of the table. This environment was perfectly captured in the iPhone version of the game with amazing 3D graphics.
In the iPhone version of the game, you can choose to play either against another player or against the CPU. There are three levels of difficulty, which really did not impress me much. There was just not enough variation between levels. The easy was too hard and the hard was too easy. You can also choose the duration of the game, playing an 8, 15, or 21 point game.
Scoring in the game is pretty easy to figure out. The goal is to land your discs in front of your opponent’s discs, without falling off the board. Any discs which land between your opponent’s best disc and the end of the board will score 1, 2, or 3 points (depending upon the scoring zones.) So, while all of your discs might be in the three point zone, you still may score no points if your opponent lands closer to the edge. This also means that in every round (each player gets four discs in a round) only one player will receive points.
This gives rise to two schools of strategy. You can play defensively by trying to knock your opponent’s discs off the table by smashing into them. You can also play offensively by trying to glide your disc into the best position.
What really impressed me about the iPhone version was how responsive the game is to the flicks and slides of your finger. This could have been a very difficult game to control, with discs flying from one of the table to the other. The screen sensitivity, however, allows you to use a soft flick to gently glide your disc into the lane; or a sharp toss to really fire your disc down there.
Shufflepuck has always been a fantastic bar game, and it was just as good on the iPhone. I thought it did a great incorporating the skill and dexterity required by the original game. This has quickly become the game I turn to when I just need a few second distraction.
What I Liked:
- realistic gameplay
- smooth animation and incredible 3D graphics
- exceptional responsiveness to finger controls
What Needs Improvement:
- the only fault I found in the game was the lack of variation between difficulty levels
Developer: Giraffe Lab
Where To Buy: iTunes App Store