Thursday, 18 October 2007

Shufflepuck Cafe - Mac / PC

Take something mundane like air hockey add aliens and immediately turn it into something deeply enjoyable...voila: Shufflepuck Cafe.

The Scene: A rainswept neo-noir night in some deserted part of the city, down on your luck you catch the glow of a neon sign reading: Shufflepuck Cafe. "What the hell!", pushing open the door you are assailed by swanky 8bit bistro music, a menagerie of characters, whose business is probably split between here and Moss Eisley and a gleaming shuffle puck board commanding pride of place in the center of the room. The place is buzzing, in a feat of blithe anachronism an obliging cyborg chalks up the tournament hopefuls on the blackboard and there is still room for one last entrant! Who would have guessed the night would turn out like this!

If at first it seems strange that shuffle puck has survived in its original form so far into the future; your doubts will be obliterated as you get embroiled in your opening tournament match against Chip (the nebbish goof who seems alarmingly out of place...perhaps he is having an "After Hours" sort of night), the joy of viciously rocketing a rubber puck in the direction of his milksop personage is truly one of the highlights this digital era has to offer. As the tournament progresses naturally the foes get tougher: yet each has his strengths and weaknesses (my favorite is the dapper crocodillian alien who starts the match playing at his full abilities but is increasingly confounded by his love for space maritinis). Finally having beaten the intimidating reigning champion Biff Raunch, your name is written up on the board and you can rest your weary shufflepuck hand and wallow in the small measure of fame you have garnered in this most eclectic of cafes!

Numerous versions of this game exist; including the original classic on the Apple Mac, a decent MS-DOS version, Amiga and even a Japanese Famicom release. The graphics, music and even characters all differ slightly between each version. There are even a few total remakes and variations on the theme of which I have yet to investigate.

Download MS-DOS version from Abandonia
Download Apple Mac version from Macintosh Garden

Finally allow me to decree conclusively that there is no better interstellar era shufflepuck game in existence!

1 comment:

  1. Hah! Loved Shufflepuck cafe! How come you didn't mention the scandalous nudity "easter egg?" (If you lost to the woman in the black cloak she would flash her breasts for a second. But if you won, you could look at those breasts for as long as you wanted!)