Sonic Shuffle is a Sonic the Hedgehog-themed Party Game for the Sega Dreamcast that was released in November 2000.Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Amy are asleep one night when they receive a mysterious summons from Lumina, a fairy. Sonic assumes that they are dreaming, and they are; as Lumina explains, she brought them here to save Maginaryworld.The world of dreams is threatened by the existence of Void, an evil, lonely being who shattered the Precioustone that grants people's dreams. This action also imprisoned Illumina, the Goddess of Dreams, rendering her unable to fix things. So Sonic and friends set off to recover the pieces of the Precioustone and save dreams for everyone.That, and play mini-games.The game was done by Hudson Soft, the same company who Nintendo trusted with the Mario Party series as well as the creators of popular multiplayer games like Bomberman. However, despite having the same people who worked on Mario Party work on the game, Sonic Shuffle failed to live up to Mario Party's success and is usually considered a disappointment for reasons such as Loads and Loads of Loading, an AI of such a cheating degree that Save Scumming is almost required in single-player, and an overly complex ruleset for both the board game and minigame elements. It did have some rather fun mini-games, so while it's not up to the standards of Mario Party, it can be enjoyable if played with a group of friends.
This game contains examples of:
Anvil on Head: Eggman's punishment to the player furthest from the Precioustone.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Eggman's plans range from killing everyone with lightning in Thor's Hammer to...shaking a can of soda in Sonicola.
Artificial Brilliance: The AI is superhumanly smart and lucky most of the time, even on easy. They will stop going to the Precioustone to complete sidequests if the board gives them the opportunity, and are good at using teleporting squares and the roulette to their advantage.
The one dumb thing AI players will constantly do is pick Eggman cards at critical moments.
If the number the AI chooses is larger than the number of spaces it takes to reach the Precioustone, they will turn around and go the opposite way no matter what.
On Hard Mode, the AI will often go to where the Precioustone will appear next rather than where it currently is. This makes them easier to deal with than on Easy Mode, where they go straight for the Precioustone that's out on the field.
Big Bad: Void, who threatens Maginaryworld's existence, shattered the Precioustone, and sent monsters to guard its pieces.
Blackout Basement: The "Great Escape" mini-game involves the characters in a maze on a roof that is completely dark (save for a spotlight hovering over it). To get to an escape rocket, they must carefully navigate the maze, making sure not to fall into any pits that send them back to start. There are four switches in the maze, that turn the light on when stepped on, and off when stepped off.
But Thou Must: If you're not aware of Sonic's special move at all times (playing the same number on consecutive turns doubles the amount of spaces you can move), you can overshoot where you're trying to go, since with the double-move you must move the required double amount of spaces. This problem is all the more baffling because Big has a similar special move only he CAN stop anywhere within the double-move.
The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Regardless of the difficulty, they seem to hit exactly the right numbers and steal your best cards. Even when every player has a full deck, and they have the exact card they need, they'll steal it from you anyway in a manner that almost seems to suggest the AI has achieved sentience and is apparently a massive jerkass. Good luck trying to find one you need from their deck because you can't see their cards. They're also very good in Mini-Games, even luck-based ones, and are almost flawless in Mini-Events. It's to the extent that a player will need to save-scum to complete the one-player mode.
While the AI and the frequent loading are generally pointed to as the cause for Shuffle's mediocrity, playing with more players at least alleviates the former problem. Good luck on the loading times, though.
Contemplate Our Navels: Lumina and Void both do this, carrying on about their purpose and loneliness. Justified as they are part of the same being; they fuse to bring Illumina back. In fact, it was Illumina's own contemplating that planted the seed of doubt that started this whole mess.
Dartboard of Hate: In Versus Mode, the "Sonic Darts" mini-game involves players throwing darts at a dartboard with a picture of Dr. Eggman in the middle. Since it is a play order mini-game, the player who gets closest to the center gets to move around the board first.
The Dev Team Thinks of Everything: The final Nature Zone Precioustone must be unlocked with one of four keys, and Riot Train's final Precioustone must be reached by stepping on a certain space. Attempting to use a Preciousite to skip the paths will cause the Jewel to fail.
Fusion Dance: Lumina and Void do this to bring back Illumina.
God's Hands Are Tied: Illumina can't help save Maginaryworld due to her imprisonment, so she requires Sonic's help.
Green Aesop: The Nature Zone's plants and trees are dying because of odd machinery and structures. Clearing the board destroys the machines and makes a huge, beautiful tree grow.
High-Altitude Battle: Accident mini-games on the Firebird take plac eon top of the plane, and so do battles on that board.
Holiday Mode: Playing on Christmas Eve will replace Lumina with NiGHTS, and playing on April Fool's Day will replace her with Reala.
Jungle Japes: The third board, Nature Zone, is a huge jungle that's slowly dying due to Void.
Lethal Joke Character: Two unlockable characters, Big the Cat and Chao, have special moves that are quite useful.
Loads and Loads of Loading: Present throughout the game, thought not to the extent of, say, Sonic the Hedgehog 2006. The load times themselves are not that long but they happen frequently, since disc access is required anytime gameplay is moved off the board map. The loading screens had pretty pictures, as well as hints that explained what the various forcejewels do.
The final map, 4th Dimension Space, took longer to load than the others since it was very graphic-intensive.
Trippy Finale Syndrome: 4th Dimension Space has no real floor, letting you walk upside down, sideways, and diagonally in space.
Troll: The AI will often choose your cards just to mess with you, even if they have a card of the same number.
The Unreveal: We never learn what Sonic's dream is despite learning everyone else's.
Whammy: The Eggman card will cause him to do something bad to the user (unless you land on the golden space, in which case he'll give all the players Swap Jewels). This can range from losing a turn to losing all your rings. In a battle, it makes you automatically lose.
Whip It Good: One monster on Riot Train is a cowgirl who wields whips.
Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Void. He has no idea what he's done wrong or even why he exists, and feels tormented by Sonic and friends wishing to stop him. He also kickstarted the whole plot in the first place and turns into a terrifying monster at the climax.