Shufflepuck Cafe, by Broderbund Software © 1988, written by Christopher Gross, is a computer game simulation of air hockey. You play shufflepuck against aliens in a space cafe. You are free to play any alien you wish or play in a tournament. Shufflepuck Cafe is one of the truly great games released for the black and white, 68K, compact Macs. Game play is very good. This game was very popular and color versions were available on many platforms such as the Amiga, Atari ST, Apple IIgs (leaked version), Amstrad CPC, and MSDOS.

The game is controlled using the mouse. The paddle on the playing field bounces a puck between the player and the alien opponent. The goal of the game is to get the puck past your opponent’s paddle. The alien is trying to do the same thing to you. A glass breaking sound accompanied by a cracked screen results when the puck moves past your paddle or that of your opponent. A robot hand with a piece of chalk marks a point on the board (top left) when one of the players manages to play the puck past the opponent’s paddle. The first player to score 15 points wins the match.

Alien Opponents:

Visine Orb, Native of Sqalor III: Short but efficient. He is only about 1.5 meters tall and can barely see over the table. Visine’s playing style is similar to Skip Feeney with a nervous twitch in his paddle movements.

Vinnie the Dweeb: Very accurate player. As a veteran shufflepuck player, he keeps his calm and is not easily surprised. His playing style is consistent and well learned.

Skip Feeney: Novice player who is a bit of a wimp. You can score on him after few hard hits. Skip is a male human in his early 20s. His play is very nervous, thus making him easy to beat.

Nerual Ttoille: A non-corporeal spiritual alien. He always keeps his cool and focuses on the game, making him very hard to beat. He is a hooded creature with a face in the shadows. He mirrors your playing exactly.

Lexan Smythe-Worthington: A drinking lizard who sometimes gets a bit tipsy. Lexan is a lizard-like alien that is a filthy rich playboy who gets 30,000 credits per year to keep away from his homeworld. He begins playing fiercely and hard to beat, but as play progresses, he sips his champagne, making him inebriated and less focused on the game, thus easier to beat.

The General: Hard hitting wannabe revolutionary. The General is a pig-like alien who pretends to be a military general, although he really is just a militaristic gung-ho enthusiast. Recently divorced, he is addicted to shufflepuck, which he plays with fierceness and devotion.

DC3: Standard training robot. You can configure DC3 to respond the way you want. DC3, a robot waiter, serves as a training partner, who can be customized to be as easy or as difficult as the player wishes. He does not play in the main championship.

Biff Raunch: Big, mean, hard-hitting alien. He is a terrible winner and an even worse loser. Biff is almost impossible to beat. He is the reigning champion.

Princess Bejin: Mentalist. Bejin has mental powers, and when she serves, she doesn’t even touch the puck. When it is her turn to serve the puck, she uses telekinesis to make it move in a seemingly impossible pattern. She will also use these powers during play. She winks at you when she scores.


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