10 Pin Shuffle, a highly addictive sports-based iPhone app featuring both shuffleboard and bowling, has been released by Digital Smoke and was recently updated with wi-fi multiplayer support. With its beautiful 3D environments, highly accurate physics engine, and addictive gameplay, 10 Pin Shuffle is one of the best deals available in the app store.
10 Pin Shuffle offers you the opportunity to play either shuffleboard or bowling on a bar-style shuffleboard table with weights/pucks. In Shuffleboard, the end of the board is broken into scoring areas: 3 points is about a puck’s width and at the edge of the board, 2 points is also about a puck’s width and adjacent to the 3 point area, and 1 point is a much lengthier area adjacent to the 2 point area. Each player has 4 pucks and you alternate turns sliding pucks down the length of the table. Each throw is meant to outdistance any other pucks, knock your opponent’s pucks off of the table, or set your puck in a blocking position to protect another puck from being knocked off of the table. The puck farthest down the table scores points for that player, as well as any others that are farther down the table than his opponent’s farthest puck. Play continues until one player reaches the pre-set score of 7, 11, 15, or 21 points. If you choose to play against the iDevice, you start against Rookie Ricky, with the chance to unlock 3 other players of increasingly better skill by beating each player. You also have the option to play against another player or host a peer-to-peer game over wi-fi. A helpful tutorial is available to explain all of the rules.
The bowling game uses the same table with 10 bowling pins arranged at the end. You use your puck as you would a bowling ball, sliding it down the table in an attempt to knock over all of the pins. All of the typical bowling rules apply. The physics engine for the pin action is outstanding, possibly the best we’ve ever seen. As with Shuffleboard, you can play the iDevice, host a peer-to-peer wi-fi game, or play a 1 or 2 player game. Statistics are maintained so that you can evaluate your overall skill, and a tutorial is available for bowling, too. Great shots in either game trigger auto-replays for your enjoyment. The game also auto-saves if you accidentally exit or need to take a call.
Graphically, the game looks great, with very smooth animation and realistic effects. Simple things like shading and lighting effects give the game nice atmosphere and enhance the overall experience. There is no background music, but there are cool sound effects, from puck-bumping sounds to scoring effects to crowd applause and reactions. You can play music from your library if you really need to hear something in the background. Controls are outstanding and silky smooth. Simply touch-drag the puck into position and then swipe your finger toward the goal to send the puck sliding on its way. The direction and speed with which you swipe will determine where and how far it travels. It’s extremely easy to get the hang of, but it will take some time to really fling the pucks like a pro.
Though there are other bowling games and even a shuffleboard game or two available in the app store, nothing combines them with the polish and creativity of 10 Pin Shuffle. Replay value is extremely high, as no two games are the same, the controls take time to master, and it is just so darn addictive. This game has a permanent place on our iPhone already. Normally priced at $3.99, Digital Smoke is currently running a 50% off sale until August 31. Now is your chance to pick up this 5-Dimple stunner for a mere $1.99.
10 Pin Shuffle gets our AppSmile 5-Dimple rating: