For those of you who remember the good old days of the Error Bomb and the SE-30, you may remember the old Broderbund game Shufflepuck Café. You were thrust into rough and tumble space bar, clearly the outsider, forced to prove yourself in a true game of wits and agility: computer air hockey. It was a simple game for simple times: a handful of wacky alien characters, mild nudity, and an animated screen crack when your opponent scored. Ah to go back for one more round.
But you’d need a vintage Mac for that, and you threw yours out with your velour leisure suit years ago. Fret not! There are a few free possibilities for a quick match on OS X! None line up perfectly with the original, and for that I am exploring the avenues of emulation, but in a pinch these will do.
TuxPuck is perhaps the most reminiscent of the original, with a character closely resembling Princess Bejin. It is, however, limited in the characters you can play against and might need a bit of massaging to get it to play.
Shufflepuck REVOLUTION provides a bit more variety in the way of characters, including Woz and Jobs as opponents, but it’s also updated the system with 3D graphics. Unlike TuxPuck, Shufflepuck REVOLUTION insists on playing in fullscreen, which is a bit off-putting if you don’t know that right away.
The quest for the perfect OS X Shufflepuck match continues!