I regret to report that the Xbox Windows Phone game release drought continues unabated this week, making the fifth week in a row without a new release (not counting Nokia exclusives). But it’s not all bad news. For one, we have the awesome cross-platform Skulls of the Shogun coming out next week on January 30th. And this week, Microsoft will be throwing Windows Phone 8 users a bone…

Following on the heels of yesterday’s Let’s Golf 2, another game gains Windows Phone 8 compatibility tomorrow: Shuffle Party from Babaroga and Microsoft Studios. Shuffle Party will be free as always, and is probably the third best free mobile Xbox game after Wordament and AlphaJax.

On again, off again

Shuffle Party

If we count its semi-delisting as an actual delisting, Shuffle Party has the distinction of being the only Xbox Windows Phone game to be pulled twice. The first time out, an update introduced an annoyingly little texture bug, but the game returned one month later – relatively quickly given the update certification issues that games often face.

Shuffle Party is one of the Windows Phone 8 incompatible games that wasn’t available to download right from the launch of Windows Phone 8, its Store page completely removed for a fair while. After fixing a bug in the game’s physics, it can now safely debut on Microsoft’s newest mobile OS.

Less dancing, more sliding

Shuffle Party is a shuffleboard/bowling game. Players aim the puck with the touch screen and then send it flying down the lane. The game has several modes of play, with the overall goal of earning money to purchase items from the Pro Shop.

When I recently called Full House Poker the only Windows Phone game with meaningful avatar support, I totally forgot to mention this game’s similarly fine support. Between shots, the camera cuts to your Avatar, showing how he or she reacts to the game. It gives the game a great personal touch – nobody will accuse this one of being too sterile. Check out our full review for more details,

Shuffle Party is a free, ad-supported game that contains 50 GamerScore worth of Achievements. Windows Phone 7 users can grab it from the Store right now, while Windows Phone 8 users will need to wait until it goes live on Wednesday the 23rd (possibly Thursday for some users) using the same link.

QR: Shuffle Party