Building Bonds, One Card at a Time: Exploring the Warmth and Joy of Sunshine Shuffle – A Found Family Card Game
There are a lot of card games today. So if you’re playing blackjack of any kind in 2023, you better stand out. Well, Sunshine Shuffle stands out in two ways, but the main reason is that it has a story attached to the gameplay. It takes about three hours to beat the story mode, and after that, you’re free to play cards with these cuddly, furry friends.
Let’s start by talking about the gameplay. You mainly play Texas Hold’em poker. Luckily for anyone not familiar with the game, they give you all the instructions, plus they automatically show you which pairs you have, if you have a straight, a flush, etc. This makes it very easy to pick up and learn quickly while staying focused on the story. At first, my biggest issue with the gameplay was that if you were trying to advance through the story and check in at the same time, it would either skip dialogue or check you didn’t want to check. Fortunately, this was recently patched into the game and is no longer a problem! In general, the gameplay is simple, intuitive and very interesting for someone who just wants to play a few cards without the risk of losing money.
What separates Sunshine Shuffle from other games is the fact that it has a story. You play the detective. Your job is to meet these furry friends and see if they are dangerous and need to be taken out. As you play, you’ll get the backstory of each character telling you everything from what they did, how they felt about it, why they did it, and what they’re doing now. You have Jordan, Andy, Billy, Peter, and Captain Fidelius with you on the boat. Everyone, except for Fidelius, plays against you until they bust, and then they just sit there and carry on the story conversation.
Herein lies one of the issues I had with speed in Sunshine Shuffle. Between matches, the story stops when the cards are passed again and then someone says something like, “Were you saying something?” Then the last person to say something about the story repeats what they said. It’s not bad when all four players are still playing, but as people go bankrupt, the time between rounds is much shorter, which leads to a lot of plot conversations being repeated until everyone goes bankrupt. I’m starting to get to a point where I sometimes lose on purpose so I can keep someone in the game. While this doesn’t spoil the game for me, it does slow it down a bit for no reason it seems. I would get really invested in what someone is saying and then pause, then restart the sentence. On a smaller scale, sometimes players talk about the game itself rather than what they talk about, which is normal in card games I’ve played in real life, but it stops progress in the game, which leads to some frustration. They also have a lot less text about the game, which leads them to repeat what you did with a check or fold, and less about the story I wanted to hear about.
The characters are adorable, which leads to some heartbreaking or hilarious moments between them. This is really a family mode that exists with a mob that holds a lot over the heads of the characters. I really loved hearing everyone’s backstories and then receiving each character’s reaction to those backstories. It was like being part of a TV show and being the reason they live or die.
One of the big reasons I enjoyed sitting down and playing Sunshine Shuffle was because of the soundtrack. They have a Ska-themed soundtrack composed and composed by Skatune Network. I’ve been a fan of Skatune Network’s JER for a long time, and I immediately recognized the style of music when I first started the lead single and the gameplay music. It gave me a lot of nostalgia as a longtime Ska genre fan. I sincerely wish the soundtrack was longer so I could hear more throughout the game, but it was generally enjoyable for the duration of the game.
I hit a huge snag that seemed like the wrong place at the wrong time. After winning the first tournament, I actually paused the game before entering the second tournament. Upon doing so, I went back and the characters didn’t talk to me about the plot anymore. They just talked about the card game itself. When I mentioned it to the development team, they told me it wasn’t a regular glitch, and they were taking a look at it. When she played it again, she had no problems moving forward with the plot.
Once you beat the game and see the credits, you can actually go back and continue playing cards. I don’t want to spoil the story, but you’ll be able to go on as long as you like. I think this is always a fun idea for a game because it keeps people going and makes it a relaxing experience.
I appreciate Sunshine Shuffle for what it is, a card game with a great story. Although it had some little things that I wasn’t a fan of, I really enjoyed my time playing it and getting to know each character and their reasons for joining the gang. If you like Texas Hold ‘Em and cute characters, Sunshine Shuffle is for you.
If you like Texas Hold ‘Em Poker and stories about family, this is the game for you. You take on the role of a detective, working for… well, you’ll find out. Your task is to check whether the creatures on the ship are dangerous and worth disembarking. Seems strange, right? Well, Sunshine Shuffle has a lot of heart. Each character has a back story and with some twists in the story, it is really interesting. There are some minor issues when it comes to speed, but overall, if you like card games and cute stories, you’ll enjoy Sunshine Shuffle.