Review: Shuffle Board
Shuffle board seems like an ideal game to make use of the "flick" features on the iPhone. Flick your puck down the board, with the right direction and speed to get the most points. So I decided to download a shuffle board game.
Well, the one I downloaded (Shuffle Board) is based on a bar/pub game of shuffleboard, not the outdoor (or cruise ship) version. The game is basically the same, so it has the same benefits.
You can play against the computer or against a human (heck, you can have the computer play itself!). You can also choose the computer AI diffculty (although I guess it would be more accurate to say you are adjusting the computer skill - AI is sort of moot). You can control friction and the "sticky"-ness when you bump into other pucks. You can choose to add bumpers (so you don't fall off the edge - something that was always happening to me!) and the number of points needed to win. Lastly, you can control the length of the shuffle board itself. These controls allow for a widely varied game experience, including some out of the world games (like no friction, and extreme sticky collision!).
Game play is pretty straighforward. You try to shoot your puck to the end of the board, getting a certain number of points depending where the puck ends up. I never played the bar version before, so I am not sure about the exact rules, which are not included with the game. Each person has four shots, and I think only the highest scoring puck counts. You play until one person reaches the number of points needed to win.
I started off by trying the "flick" method of playing, but I found I couldn't control the speed or direction very well, so I move to the "slide" method - putting my finger over the puck, and sliding my finger at various speeds or directions. This worked much better.
The graphics are a little lacking. The picks have a slight bevel along the edge to create a 3-d effect, but beyond that there is nothing outstanding about the graphics on the game board. (On the preferences screen, the graphics with the "wood panel" background look nice). There is no sound - it would have been nice to hear a sliding/friction sounds when the pucks move, and some sort of "thunk" when they hit each other.
Adding the bumpers option was essential for me (as I said, I kept sliding off the edge) but it seems like the bumpers are a 100% rebound rubber - I shot on pucke that bounced back and forth (end to end) at least 10 times before slowing down. Adjusting the rebound of the bumpers would be nice, as well as specifying which bumpers (side or end) would add a nice variation.
Pros: Nice interface, good preference options
Cons: Rules would be nice, and better graphics/sound would add to the game experience
All in all, this is a nice implementation of a shuffleboard (or shuffleboard variant) game. For $1.99, it's not bad, but it doesn't seem to be as developed as it could. As such, I am only going to give it three out of five stars.