Remember Minesweeper and Sudoku, the free Xbox Live titles from Babaroga and Microsoft Studios? Soon they will be joined by Shuffle Party, another free game from the same developer and publisher team.
Shuffle Party is a shuffleboard game that players can enjoy even if they’re never been on a cruise ship. Microsoft’s Windows Phone team proposed the initial concept, with the folks at Babaroga developing and adding to the design.
MS and Babaroga’s latest collaboration boasts stylish 3D graphics set against a Chicago skyline (home of Babaroga’s main office) and realistic physics. The simple touch-screen controls allow players to shift the puck horizontally and set its angle before launching. Swipe forward and off it goes!
Shuffle Party has several ways to play:
- Bowling: Slide a puck (called a biscuit in shuffleboard lingo) down the lane, picking up spares and strikes as the pins come tumbling down.
- Challenge: Slide the pick around obstacles, collecting coins, and landing in the Goal Zone. Think Fable Coin Golf, but more realistic.
- Shuffleboard: The traditional vacationers’ game. Send the biscuit down the lane into a triangular scoring zone, with some spots offering more points than others. Sort of like a combination of darts and air hockey.
- Pass n Play: Local multiplayer built around the main shuffleboard game (not bowling). Not only do you try to land in goals, you get the satisfaction of knocking your friends’ pucks off the table – and vice versa.
Money earned in the various game modes can be spent in the Pro Shop, tying the whole experience together. The shop sells unique pucks, pins, and frames. Naturally, buying every single item nets you an Achievement.
Speaking of which, Shuffle Party includes 50 GamerScore worth of Achievements, just like its two free predecessors. And like those games, banner advertisements run across the top of the screen during gameplay. There won't be any waiting through ads between menus or anything obtrusive like that, thankfully.
Shuffle Party comes to Xbox Live in the US on Wednesday, November 30 – the same day Ghostscape is scheduled to emerge. It will require the Windows Phone Mango update. No word on release dates outside of the US, but it will come to other regions eventually.