A 3D classic bar game done right

10 Pin Shuffle Lite is a preview version of 10 Pin Shuffle, a physics-based shuffleboard simulator with polished graphics and a convincing interface.

10 Pin Shuffle Lite is a preview version of 10 Pin Shuffle, a physics-based shuffleboard simulator with polished graphics and a convincing interface.

The interface is simple but subtle: you look down the length of a traditional, barroom shuffleboard table, with a realistically rendered shuffleboard weight in front of you. You have a number of options for positioning and shooting the weight, with left and right arrows that slide the weight laterally, and another pair of arrows that let you rotate your aim to the left or right. You can also just tap and drag the weight into position, and you shoot just like you would in real life: with a straight flick or (better) a few quick back-and-forth motions followed by a measured release. The game has "easy" and "expert" sensitivity settings that reward practice, and fun sound effects and optional crowd noise.

The Lite version does a good job of letting you get completely familiar with the controls while limiting the gameplay. You can play "10 Pin Poker"--a hybrid of Five-Card Draw, standard shuffleboard, and bowling (you shoot at pins at the far end of the table)--and you can play solo or vs. an AI. The game is satisfying up to a point (and it tracks stats, which encourages repeat play), but it will likely just whet your appetite for the main attraction: the full version of 10 Pin Shuffle, with bowling and conventional shuffleboard and--best of all--multiplayer head-to-head over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

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