Sunshine Shuffle Reviews
If you like Texas Hold 'Em Poker and stories about found family, this is the game for you. You take on the role of an investigator, working for… well, you'll find out. Your job is to investigate if the creatures on the ship are dangerous and worth taking out. Seems weird, yeah? Well Sunshine Shuffle has plenty of heart. Each character has a back story and with a couple story twists, it's really fun. There are some minor issues when it comes to pacing, but in general, if you like card games and cute stories, you'll enjoy Sunshine Shuffle.
I really wanted to enjoy Sunshine Shuffle so much more than I did. I love poker, noir, and anthropomorphised characters. It should have been a slam dunk, but unfortunately, the execution of the strong concept left me cold. I can see what the developers were aiming for, but sadly they never quite get there.
While the story for Sunshine Shuffle is intriguing, the presentation does not match up with the tone of the narrative. The game also suffers from many technical issues that individually wouldn't be too bad, but when put together are very distracting and problematic. Though some of the features of Sunshine Shuffle are entertaining, and the poker is well played, overall there are many other poker games that are more enjoyable than this one.
Sunshine Shuffle feels thin, yet overextended at the same time. Had it doubled down on its greatest asset – its characters – it could have been something great. As it is, the story is over far too soon, and all that’s left is a middling card game you could play with less faff pretty much anywhere else. It’s great to see Poker Night At The Inventory live on, but Sunshine Shuffle forgot that the poker was always the least important part of it.
Strange Scaffold remains one of the most interesting teams in gaming today. Sunshine Shuffle's anything but light and breezy, despite its appearances, and its narrative poker experience is just another in a long list of games from their studio that tells powerful stories in the most interesting formats possible. By keeping the gameplay barriers as light as possible this time while still managing to do something that no one else is doing, the team lets what might be its best batch of writing yet soar here. And that's worth all the applause. Minor quibbles aside, Sunshine Shuffle accomplishes all it sets out to do and does so with a ska-driven flair that can't be denied.
If you like poker or visual novels that don’t give you much choice in how the story plays out, then this would be a great game for you to pick up for $9.99. If you want to take the plunge, you can find it on Steam, Itch.io, and soon on Switch. For me, however, I’m going to fold on this game.