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Rating: 4.5/5 (28 votes)
Comments (25) | Views (6,411)
shuffle.jpgJohnBSimple is as simple does, and one of the latest games from Shockwave doesn't stray far from that concept. Shuffle is a combination of curling, marbles and billiards played with two rows of colored balls. You take control of the red team and must knock the yellows off the screen before the computer does the same to you. Grab a marble and drag the mouse to choose your throwing angle and power, then let it fly and watch the yellow marbles tumble off the screen.

At first glance, Shuffle doesn't seem to have much depth. In many ways it doesn't, but there is some strategy beyond "roll the marble as hard as you can and knock stuff around". Rebounding physics play a large part in the game and can help you take out several yellows with one throw. Try banking a shot off the corner of a marble to see what I mean. And learning to tweak the strength of your throw is a key skill, otherwise you'll overshoot and lose a marble each time you take a shot.

As the game progresses marble arrangements shift and stack the odds in the computer's favor. The difficulty doesn't increase much, however, and the skills you pick up early on should be enough to keep you in the game.

Analysis: Shuffle is well-designed with easy controls and attractive visuals. No flaws in the presentation, but the game itself leaves a little to be desired. Your attention will only be held for a few games before you crave something with more depth. This could have been remedied with new marble layouts, more difficult stages, obstacles, or even a new game mode or two. Instead, Shuffle relies on one basic concept and stretches an entire game around it. It works like a charm, but only in short bursts.

Shuffle is a great game to fire up for a few rounds when you're itching for instant gratification.

Play Shuffle

Cheers to Mark and Zeroster for the link. =)


Vinny from Yonkers June 7, 2007 9:06 PM

Yay! First to post! This game reminds me of one I played as a kid; can't remember the name of it, though. Great site, Jay. Love the games.


Chap Hai - www.chaphai.com
This is how the original game is called.
The advanced versionS of the game are coming.

Thanks a lot for review!


Hi Jay, long time no hear, hope you're well!
Anyway, what I don't get about this game is that when you win you get less balls, which means the other player has less to knock off than you do and it makes it harder for you to knock off their balls, surely if you win they should get a ball taken off? Doesn't make sense to me, I'm thinking of losing a few rounds in order to get their balls down and then kick some bottom!!!


just realised won't be able to 'lose' on purpose as the game will then be over, darn it!


This is one of those games that is so simple and addicting.


racci -- On the contrary, losing balls is what gives this game replayability and makes it more than just a diversion. After all, the general way games work is that the levels get harder as you go along. So you beat the first level, now you have to try to do it again with fewer balls; it's like if you go bowling or golfing with a friend who is not as good as you are... you give them a hamdicap to keep the competition interesting.

Anyway, the trick for succeeding when you have few balls to work with is to keep your ball on the board during your turn... knocking off two yellows and retaining your ball is a lot better than knocking off three and losing your own as well, because you want to get as many turns as possible.

I'd love to see more levels to this game, maybe with some obstacles and a puzzle campaign.


Well, racci, most games get harder as you go along, which is what happens here. That way you'll feel more satisfaction the further you get. If the other team lost a ball whenever you won, it would just get easier and easier!


yeah, I see your point, but it does feel like you get 'punished' for winning, maybe it would be better if the other team had a ball added, so you had more to get rid of with the same amount of balls? anyway, its a good game despite that!


BTW, where is link dumped friday today???


I like the way it handicaps you. The AI also gets better as you go, but I simply cannot win the fourth game (which will always end up 5 balls to 2 right at the line at 3-3). But that's why the handicapping works -- you have to be a pretty good player to take out five of the opponent's balls with only two from close range like that.

I wish I didn't have to play the first 3.75 games to get there every time (= 15 rounds!) but that's replayability for you.


You are just too clever and too creative with your point of view on this game. :D Accept it as is... No? ;-)

Come on! This is just fun simple game. I liked a lot to develop it and like a lot to play it now.. Hope most of you do the same with playing it.

No. This is not any kind of game design revolution if this is what one could expect from it. LOL

Thanks for kind words about the game really!


This game is super-fun but no matter what I do I cannot get more than 11 wins - I always lose in the very last round (after tying 3-3) of the third game. maddening!


omg this got boring after like the second round. it was really fun for about 5 minutes, and then its just..... more.... of the.... same.... thing........

or maybe i just have game ADD (but i find that a LOT with shockwave games...)


I wanna see a video of how some of these people are are getting 90,000+ points. My high score so far is ~56,000.


Before I made such scores by my own I though they are cheating... :)
I made more than 100K and I know for sure this is possible to achieve.


Ok, so how do you do it? I just got pretty lucky and made it past round 4. Ended up with ~65,000 points. Then I had to clear 5 of theirs with one of mine. And that's hard! :)

Do you get 100,000+ by being perfect in the earlier levels, or are you able to clear five with one? Or both?

JoeMomma June 10, 2007 12:35 PM

Not that I've gotten a great score yet, but I think part of the secret is that you have to lose a few rounds each level... you get more points that way since the ones you knock off add to your score...

WildSnake June 11, 2007 3:03 AM

Yes. The main trick is to get more points on starting rounds. Not to loose them on purpose but not be afraid to loose when necessary. You get the higher points from the balls left on the table at the end of round - this is the main clue for higher scores.

Rudi P. July 8, 2007 11:17 AM

Highest I get is 80k. As mentioned before, the best strategy to get that high is to lose some rounds at the beginning of each game. In game 1 I always lose the first 3 rounds because this means that I can finish with lots of balls myself (= high score). In game 2 I lose the first round on purpose and then wait for opportunity to finish high. If it doesn't work out and I seem to win only with 1 or 2 balls left I commit suicide. Because of the fact that AI gets stronger I usually don't give anything away in Game 3, except if I'm clearly in the lead 2-0 or 3-0.

Game 3 is difficult to beat it's tied at 3-3. I fail 60% of the time here. Does anyone know what the best starting move is??? I usually win only in a 1ball/2ball situation when I can kick both yellow balls out with one strike. It helps that you win the game also when your ball leaves the board.

In Game 4 it always comes to a 3-3 tie situation where I start with 2 balls and the computer has 5. I can't beat that. Any advice appreciated...



I've won as high as 19 rounds... can never win #20 (down to one ball!!)


for you newbs, you gotta screenshot your Level 19 and above scores. otherwise, we know you're faking and you are wasting posting space.


Rounds 1 and 2 - lose first 3 rounds to win the other 4 with as many balls as possible remaining - you can get 40,000+ before round 3. From here on in you just concentrate on winning.
If you find yourself in a 1 against 2 situation where you don't have the angle to take both out - instead of taking one ball out try to get yourself on the line between the 2 balls(difficult to do) then it will hit you against it's own ball (taking it out)allowing you to win hopefully.


in the two ball situation shoot one of your balls (i know it sounds kinda funny) straight up into the slot between the yellow balls. do it softly however. the goal is to knock four yellow balls off while keeping both balls on the board. with some practice a soft shot straight up the slot with one of your two balls can get the right amount of yellow balls off the board while keeping your two balls intact.


Personally, I find that 19 (which is the same as 16) is best handled by shooting the left ball straightaway before the right ball. When I shoot the right ball first I'm never in a position where I can bank my remaining ball and get two with my last ball, while when shooting the left one first I'm 2 of 3.

What I have no idea of is how to handle 20 - I've knocked off 5 with 1 before, but only when I had a straightaway shot between two balls. Anyone beat 20?


I got to level 19 for the first time. 1 vs 5. WTH!?!?! Any ideas on what to do, if anything? For a snapshot see - http://picasaweb.google.com/pezboy4/Peoria/photo#5188811144641202770


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