Shufflepuck Cantina, A Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy Where You Can Play Air Hockey- iPad App Review
Sometimes, an app comes along that just makes you smile. The care and dedication that goes into the little details can push it to the forefront and make it stand out amongst the sea of 700,000 apps. Shufflepuck Cantina is one of those special treats that will give sci-fi fans a chuckle.
While this is basically an air hockey or puck football game, depending on where you are from, there is much more than friendly tabletop competition going on. There is an overall storyline that players can unlock by winning games.
Players start off as a U.S. astronaut in an outfit that might be an homage to “2001: A Space Odyssey.” The story is that the astronaut crash-landed on an outer rim type planet and needs to earn enough credits to rebuild his ship and get off the dusty rock.
Players are then introduced to a robot in the cantina named “M4RV1N” who is not particularly paranoid, but sci-fi fans will get the reference. M4RV1N will show you how to play and introduce you to all the ways you can earn credits. Oh, you’ll need an interpreter fish from Babel Lake. I think you see where this is headed.
Just on the first floor of the cantina, you’ll see a plethora of sci-fi references, including a Twi’lek that is dancing to a Max Rebo cover Band.
And then there is the game. Players earn credits by winning against the scum and villainy that hangs out in the cantina. The easiest player in the place is “Furry.” I’m not sure what the little guy is supposed to be referencing because he is way too cute to be Salacious Crumb. Players can compete in a basic duel with Furry, or try to earn more credits by betting on the game. You win more credits for betting on the game, but you also lose credits if you don’t win. In survival mode, players compete against characters for as long as possible, racking up more credits the longer they play.
On the first floor of the cantina, there are three opponents to play against. Once you feel confident against Furry, you can move onto playing a harder opponent. The Twi’lek-like character, Harobed (Deborah-spelled backward, though I’m not sure who this is referencing, since Oola was played by Femi Taylor), is the second in line to defeat. The hardest opponent on the first floor is M4RV1N.
Once you’ve earned 2,000 credits, you can hit the second floor. This might actually take a while, since you will want to spend your credits on unlocking story information or buying upgrades to your pucks and mallets.
Admittedly, it would take a lot less time if you just bought more credits through in-app purchases. However, it is so easy to rack up the dough that it seems silly to spend real cash in this game.
There are three floors, each with different opponents to play and stories to unlock. I never made it to the second floor. I was having too much fun listening to Furry exclaim “Oh, no, no!” every time I scored against him.
There is also a multiplayer mode where two real people can compete against each other in tabletop style gaming.
While this game is basically just air hockey, it is full of so much sci-fi detail that anyone with even a remote love of the genre will enjoy the graphics and theme.
What I liked: Furry. That little squirt was so adorable that I just wanted to take him home and make him my pet. Which, I know is wrong since he is an intelligent being who wants to be treated with respect.
What I didn’t like: If you accidentally tap the multiplayer game, you can’t get out of it. You just have to play against yourself. You also can’t turn off the sound, which can get annoying after a while.
To buy or not to buy: Fans of sci-fi games should definitely check this out. If you area a big fan of air hockey (or puck football) you might want to give the game a try, too.
- Name: Shufflepuck Cantina
- Version Reviewed: 1.2
- Category: Games
- Developer: Agharta Studio
- Price: Free