Shuffle Cats

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Shuffle Cats App Poster Image
Feline rummy pits you against real-world players; purchases.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

Controls are easy to use, and a set of in-game tutorials teaches kids the rules of the game. 

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

Links to other apps from the publisher and in-game purchases with no parent gate. There is theme of gambling as kids pay gems to play and earn gems if they win. 

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Shuffle Cats is a card game app that plays similar to rummy with a few twists. It's set in 1920s London and has a sort of speakeasy vibe, including at least one card room that says it's a saloon. However, there's no alcohol visible in those scenes. Although the game doesn't explicitly ask for a bet in the card games, kids must play gems with the understanding that they will receive more gems in return if they win. Kids are paired up with real people around the world to play. There's canned chat with a few phrases, but the game can be connected through a King (the publisher) profile. These profiles may have actual pictures and contain real names, depending on how the person registers. Once kids move past the tutorial level, they may be paired with players at much higher levels using power-ups they do not yet have access to. Read the app's privacy policy -- which states that players must be age 13 or older -- to find out about the types of information collected and shared. 

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What's it about?

In SHUFFLE CATS, you meet up with Montie, a cat in 1920s London. She introduces you to the game of regal rummy. Regal rummy is similar to regular rummy, except that when players lay down cards in a meld, those cards are replenished, so you always have a full hand. Once you learn the basics, you're paired up with other real-world players for card matches. Each match costs a certain number of gems. Win the game, and you increase your gem store. Lose it, and you're down. Players work their way through the initial levels, which serve as tutorials. They then must defeat Walter, a cardsharp, in a trio of games. He introduces you to the shop, where you can buy a range of power-ups and new chat phrases, and then he sets you free in Lucky Lane. Lucky Lane has a number of regal rummy parlors, each of which has a different entrance fee. The bigger the fee, the higher the reward if you win your match. There is also a mini game that's similar to HiLo but played by suit. You just have to guess whether the card will be one suit or the other. The higher you get, the bigger the payout. Players can earn in-game currency or use real money to buy more.

Is it any good?

If rummy is your thing, try your skills against other players from around the world in a clever take on the original game, complete with power-ups and purchases. Shuffle Cats is colorful and a bit silly, while also being a fun way to enjoy a card game when no one is around to join you in person. Having your cards replenished after a meld forces you to employ a different strategy, and the power-ups make that even more challenging. There are only a few drawbacks. The power-ups are fun, but with games going to only 10 points, they can make a match feel unbalanced. This is compounded by the fact that low-level players are often matched with high-level players. There's enough luck involved that the mismatch itself isn't awful, but power-ups unlock at certain levels, leaving low-level players without as much ammo. Because the game involves gambling, parents may want to talk to kids about the risks involved and how games of chance can be fun -- and addictive.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about commercialism and gambling in Shuffle Cats. What are your family's  rules on in-app purchases? Are there games you play as a family that require paying to get in the game? What are the potential risks of gambling?

  • How do you like this app as compared to other apps you could play? If you had or have limited screen time, would you pick this app over other apps on your device? Why, or why not?

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love classic games and strategy

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