Shuffle Party for Windows Phone

Shuffle Party is one of the most recent free games Microsoft studios added to the Windows Phone Xbox Live hub, joining the already published Sudoku and Minesweeper.

Since it’s a Xbox Live title it’s fully integrated with the Windows Phone gaming ecosystem, which means that the colors of the menus change accordingly to the Windows Phone color theme the user selected and that the player is represented by the Xbox Live avatar.

It has several playing modes:

  • Bowling, which is self-explanatory
  • Challenge, where there’s different difficulty levels and the objective is to achieve 3 starts on each one
  • Shuffleboard, where you simply try to get the highest score you can
  • 2 player

The game is not really hard to complete and the objective is to get all those Xbox Live achievements that allow you to compete with your friends (and perhaps impress them with your skills… or maybe not!).

There’s also a lot of personalization around the game, you can choose the game table, the color of the disc but all of these are just available if you earn enough points (or money!) with your high scores.

For a free game, the graphics are pretty good, the game runs smoothly even of 1st generation Windows Phones and my only complaint is that sometimes I feel it’s a bit hard to apply the correct speed to the disc.

The initial loading of the game takes a long time, I would certainly like if it loaded a bit faster.

But my main problem with the game is with a bug I’ve found on certain levels, where the disc is able to pass by some barriers like they weren’t there, which is that kind of graphic glitch that shouldn’t pass on the test phase.

In my opinion, Microsoft is doing a good job by putting some high-quality games for free on the Xbox Live hub. It’s this kind of stuff that makes an app ecosystem interesting enough to make consumers want to give it a chance. Other third party developers will certainly be inspired by Microsoft efforts and provide even better games! Without MS showing what the platform can offer in the first place, it will be very hard for them to convince consumers and developers to spend their time, money and efforts on the platform and that’s why I think Microsoft should keep up the good work and release more (great) games for the Windows Phone platform.

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