Made in Canada: Arctic Shuffle 2

Zinc Roe is a Toronto-based interactive studio that’s well-known here in Canada, but maybe not to the rest of the world. Their claim to fame, The Zimmer Twins, was a television show that kids could edit together online, with a number of pre-fab animations and settings. The Zinc Roe team then took some submissions, voiced and scored them, and aired them on the teevee. Neat!

So what have they done lately? The company is pretty busy releasing games in the App Store. i took an “iPhone for Flash Developers” course last year with zr programmer Luke Lutman, but Luke’s such a clever fellow they were already well on their way by that point. Among their earliest entries is Arctic Shuffle 2, which combines the very Canadian sport of curling with the very un-Canadian animal of penguin (it’s cold here, but penguins live near the opposite pole – the ANTarctic), with a healthy dose of mini-golf thrown in just to mix things up a little.

Chinstrap Penguin

Je ne suis pas Canadien, d’accord?

i confess that i didn’t play Arctic Shuffle 1, so there may be some major plot revelations that i’m missing out on. But in the sequel, you tap a golf-style mechanic at the bottom of the screen to launch your penguins toward a curling/crokinole-type target ring. If a penguin comes to a rest safely inside the ring, you’re onto the next level. Unfortunately, penguins more often than not ricochet off of glaciers and into gaping ice holes. In later levels, you have to creatively bounce penguins off each other to get them into the ring safely.

The game’s production values are very good. The team has taken a page out of the Game Escalation Playbook, where instead of ramping the challenge up in a straight line, there are peaks and valleys where you’ll finish a very difficult level, and then breeze by the disconcertingly simple next level. This is a technique that encourages people to keep playing, and it works very well for a game like this.

Arctic Shuffle 2

Arctic Shuffle 2 features many natural antarctic obstacles, including deadly spikes and anthropomorphosized explosives.

Sure, But Is It Free?

Studio head Jason Krogh was good enough to offer three codes for the game. The codes are only valid with a US iTunes account, and they’re not reusable. If you get a FREE copy of Artic Shuffle 2, please let the rest of us know which code you redeemed so that we don’t waste our time punching it in. And if you feel so compelled, please throw a mini-review over in our What Are You Playing? forum.

Here are those codes:

  1. 6YXTXJL93XL3
  2. FMMH7ETF6P77 – redeemed!
  3. AAWW9LHENTR4 – redeemed!

Enjoy!

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