Now you can take your favourite bar game with you wherever you go with 10 Pin Shuffle. Shuffleboard is basically a game played on a slippery surface that lets stones glide far with little effort. In 10 Pin Shuffle you get two game modes where you have to slide weights with precision in order to either place them furthest down the lane in shuffleboard or knock down pins in bowling.
You can practise by yourself or play against computer opponents of varying difficulty. The main reason to get the game though is the peer-to-peer multiplayer over Bluetooth and WiFi. Playing the shuffleboard mode is really fun as you can strategise, and spoil your opponents game by knocking weights off or placing weights defensively. Bowling is just what it says, bowling, but with weights instead of balls.
The game is controlled solely by touch, and to me the controls have been very imprecise and hard to learn. I can’t seem to find the correct power, and my shots range from those flying off the lane to those stopping embarrassingly short. This gives a lot of frustration as 10 Pin Shuffle is a game if skill, and when the controls don’t agree with me it becomes a game of chance. That might be ok if the AI had the same trouble as me, but now I get my behind whopped on even the easier levels.
To make a shot you drag the weight to the desired position, and set the angle you want it to go. Then you grab it by setting a finger on it, and pull it back and forward to get a good line. Release to let it go, and hold your thumbs that it goes the way you have planned.
10 Pin Shuffle looks great with polished presentation throughout. Replays of great shots have console quality graphics. One thing that bugs me is the fact that you can’t seem to fast forward when the AI plays. It is kind of ok looking at the AI playing against you in shuffleboard as your weights interact. In bowling though it feels really unnecessary to watch the AI as you can’t affect it’s game.
There is no music, but the game lets you continue playing your own if it is playing when you start the game. Sound effects are good with crowd cheering when you do a nice shot.
Getting to grips with the controls is the big thing in 10 Pin Shuffle. Sure it is easy to understand how to play, it is just as intuitive like Wii Sports. But it is too hard to be consistent, and consistency is the most important aspect of bowling and shuffleboard. You have to be sure that the shot you plan in shuffleboard is the shot that you manage to pull off. In 10 Pin Shuffle I can’t seem to get consistent. On the other hand other players should have the same type of issues, and in that regard playing multiplayer might be less frustrating. I think that there should be a lite version to let you sample the controls before you buy.
10 Pin Shuffle sports nice graphics, sound effects and multiplayer. If the game had a way of manually setting power instead of using your own kinetic energy I think it would be much more enjoyable. As it is now I can only recommend the game to those interested in a quick fun multiplayer experience, and not to those intent on playing versus the AI.