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Shuffle Cats is Furry Gin Rummy from the Makers of Candy Crush

first_img Candy Crush Saga is pretty huge. Huge enough to pop up on everyone’s smartphones no matter little they care about video games, huge enough to make everyone forget what Bejeweled is, and huge enough to convince Activision Blizzard to pay nearly $6 billion for King, the makers of the match-3 puzzle game phenomenon. You’d think with a game that huge, King wouldn’t even bother making other software. After all, the only thing Riot Games makes is League of Legends, and that’s working out pretty well for them so far.But King isn’t resting on its throne. The company’s new game, Shuffle Cats, is available now and it represents a new direction for the team. Shuffle Cats is a furry take on the classic card game Gin Rummy, and it’s King’s first real-time, competitive multiplayer game.“We tried and tested various card games before agreeing that Rummy would work best,” said Ben Hollis, Lead Game Designer at King. Hollis frequently noted how King’s games are designed to be picked up and easily enjoyed when players have moments to spare. Shuffle Cats’ tweaks to the established Rummy formula reflect this philosophy.“We wanted to put our own twist on the game and make it fun and engaging for our players, so we’ve taken inspiration from the classic game of Rummy and updated it for a mobile audience,” said Hollis. “In the classic game, players are dealt seven cards, and the aim is to make melds in order to discard all seven cards. We’ve introduced a ‘refill’ mechanic in Shuffle Cats, so our players’ hand is replenished each time they discard a card or make a meld and the first player to receive 10 points wins the match.”I played some Shuffle Cats for myself and can confirm this fast-paced and streamlined take on Rummy does make it easier and more enjoyable to sneak in quick rounds throughout my day. The casual appeal, minigame distractions, and pleasantly high production values are also what you’d expect from the publisher. Meanwhile, the reliance on free-to-play currency, while not egregious, is what you’d expect from a mobile game. It’s funny, even though there’s no real gambling here, games like this can’t help but remind you how eerily similar the tactics casinos and free-to-play games both use.However, at least you don’t have to worry about unfair game balance in Shuffle Cats as your opponents are other humans you face off against in live multiplayer, a first for King.“Shuffle Cats differs from other games in our portfolio such as Candy Crush Saga and Farm Heroes Saga because the focus of the content in-game has shifted away from building new levels to players themselves,” said Hollis. “The game is inherently social. It sees players from all around the world being matched against each other in real time and allows players to communicate with one-another through the new pre-programmed chat features.”Shuffle Cats just recently fully launched, but it has been available in other parts of the world for a few months now in soft launch testing phases. A lot of mobile game developers do this to see how their games perform in real-world environments as well as roll out new features.“Like we do with all our games during the test phase, we refined Shuffle Cats and made certain adjustments to ensure that players have the best possible experience,” said Hollis. For example, during this testing phase, the team realized players love cats, especially swanky card-playing cartoon cats.Another feature implemented in testing is Walter’s Workshop. “Walter’s Workshop is a weekly live event that gives players the chance to compete for prizes, in a range of Walter’s wacky experiments,” said Hollis. “Every few weeks, players will be treated to a different set of game rules. Rummy naturally lends itself to gameplay twists, but with the Lucky Charms as well, the ideas list is even bigger.”After years of profiting from our collective addiction to Candy Crush, King is hoping we can tear ourselves away for just one moment to fall into the welcoming paws of Shuffle Cats. See for yourself if the gamble will work by checking out Shuffle Cats on iOS and Android today. Stay on target Get Ready for More Candy Crush Saga as CBS Announces New Game ShowActivision Blizzard acquires Candy Crush maker King for $5.9 billion last_img read more