In our review of Shufflepuck Cantina [Free], we felt that the game's primary flaw was a brutally steep challenge curve. Many players were likely to give up after a few punishing games, and others would find the high speed on the relatively short table to be impossible to adjust to.

Well, if you're a shufflepuck wuss, like me, help has arrived. A new update adds "Training" difficulty to duels. It's worth nothing that Training mode is only for standard duels (first one to five points), and not the high-stakes Betting mode or Survival mode. Also, in Training difficulty, rewards are reduced and you can only win bronze or silver medals, not gold (even if you play a perfect game).

It's clear that Agharta considers "Training" to be just that, a way to get players acclimated to the game. For me, it represents A New Hope of actually enjoying the game rather than banging my head against it.

They've also added the option to turn off the game's music, which is a boon in itself, as the game's sound is high-quality but the music is on a short loop.

If you deleted the game, this might be cause to reinstall it: despite the beautiful graphics, Shufflepuck Cafe is a mere 40 megs, a testament to Agharta's in-house engine. There's another good reason to leave this app on your device: while real-money items (like the Duraniam card) can be restored, unlocks you purchased with Credz will be locked again if you delete and re-install the game, and any Credz you paid real money for are gone.

That's not particularly evil of Agharta, it's just how free-to-play works. In this case it stands out, because everything you can buy with Credz in Shufflepuck Cafe is a "permanent" unlock.

  • gust0208

    Count me in as one who deleted it after about 10 punishing games. That said, I absolutely loved the world and the characters in general. The training mode may help me live with the gameplay and see more of the world.

  • http://twitter.com/Aghartastudio Agharta studio

    Thanks for update!

    BTW we received our brand new iphone 5 a few days ago and we made the adaptation.
    It looks even more beautiful on it , with the new resolution, we even applied 4x antialiasing on it, the machine runs is without trouble, iPhone 5 is truely a beast!

    Iphone 5 update will be submitted this week if all goes well!

    • Benjamin Palmer

      Any chance for iCloud save support? For those of us who just got the beastly new iPhone 5 and would like to continue our games? =)

      • http://twitter.com/Aghartastudio Agharta studio

        you can just Backup and restore your iphone , you won't loose your savegames you know !

        the cloud is only usefull to play with the same account on multiple devices (It will be added in a future update too)

      • Benjamin Palmer

        That's great to hear! Yes, multiple devices is what I am after, I'm an iPad owner who just added an iPhone, so there's no restore there. Looking forward to that update then, so I can pick up my iPad game. Thanks!

    • http://twitter.com/bravadowaffle Stephen D

      @AghartaStudio I'm quite in love with this game! As a long time Mac
      Addict  I have fond memories of the original Shufflepuck. That game too
      was brutally hard, but so much fun.

      The one thing I miss about
      the original Shufflepuck was the variable breaks in the holo-glass. If
      you scored a point with a really fast puck (or got scored on with a fast
      puck) the glass broke much bigger across your screen. It was very
      satisfying to shatter a ton of glass with a powerful hit.

      Any chance of replicating that feel? I think it would go a long way to make scoring points feel even more satisfying!

      • http://twitter.com/Aghartastudio Agharta studio

        haha actually that's not a bad idea ! I'll see what I can do :)

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PBCJLVCCXFKT7KO4CHW2NFR5N4 JohnnyC

    @twitter-17363657:disqus Great game! Just one suggestion for the prize machine in gameplay. Say you only have one token and you turn over a multiplier card...the only options you have are to either wait 30 minutes for two new tokens, exit from the prize machine and lose your turned card, or buy new tokens. For those of use who are a little bit cheaper, do you think there could be an option where you can exit from the prize machine (play a few games) and then come back to it once you have more tokens with your multiplier card still turned over?

    • http://twitter.com/Aghartastudio Agharta studio

      Upgrade of the gift machine is planned for a further update too :)

  • Jhncpps1

    How are you supposed to get the ayoto embodiment mission of winning 25 bets with the embodiment when betting mode is not available with that embodiment?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cate.merrill.5 Cate Merrill

    Please, someone answer this! I am a busy wife and mother of three who stays up way too late after "mommy" hours... trying to figure this one out. Please Agharta, I need my sleep!
    I fear I'll never get to purchase my way to the 4th floor unless I figure out how to "bet" as ayoto... and that other fella - who's not allowed to bet.
    Also, why don't I get credit for winning duels w certain mallets- when I clearly won using that mallet??
    And another thing.. I have definitely turned over 5 consecutive cards without a skull - and again, no mission awarded :(
    When (and how) does the player get to go to the 4th floor?
    Will I be playing this game forever? I never knew I had an addictive personality until I stumbled upon shufflepuck cantina. Thanks a lot. I love it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/lars.carlsson.52687 Lars Carlsson

      I really want to know how to bet with Ayoto as well...