Download Shufflepuck Cafe
When I was 12 years old, my father's neighbor had bought an Apple II. Back then, I was not very impressed by the monochrome (and puny) display the thing had and I seriously mistrusted the mouse, because I was used to nice 16 colors, joysticks and big TV's from my own C64. He had a little game on the thing however, which I was particularly fond of. It was called "Shufflepuck Café". If you have to summarize this game in one sentence it would be "Air hockey against aliens!". Thank heavens it was released on other platforms as well (such as Atari, Amiga and of course, DOS) because Apple II's are hard to come by these days.
What's the deal in "Shufflepuck Café?" Well, there's this café filled with a bunch of weird aliens (it might even be located in Mos Eisley on Tatooine, but this information is not available). All they do is hang around and compete against each other in the game called Shufflepuck. This is sort of like those air-hockey tables you might know from arcade halls. Both players have a paddle and use this to direct a puck all over the place. The puck is more or less floating on the table due to a thin layer of air that's being blown over the surface (hence the 'air' in air-hockey).
In Shufflepuck Café you have to become the champion by beating the current one, a greasy pig called Biff Raunch. From the startup screen you simply click on your desired opponent to start a match against them. First one to score 15 points by making his of her opponent miss the puck, wins the game. Watch out though, 'cause some aliens tend to cheat a bit. Each one has a certain amount of talent and some even have special tricks with which they might surprise you...
The graphics are nice enough. The 16 color EGA is better then the monochrome ones from the old Apple II I rembemer, but not as pretty as those on the Amiga. Nevertheless, your opponents are a colorful bunch. The sound is limited to speaker bleeps, which is adequate for this type of game. The gameplay can get a little tedious, because it takes quite some time to earn fifteen points, even against the weaker opponents. The fast games are pretty tense though and you'll find yourself playing 'just one more game' quite often. All in all, it's a definite 4.
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