Chicken Shuffle

The story behind the creation of Chicken Shuffle

Raf Peeters, January 2010

The concept for the sliding puzzle “Chicken Shuffle” is a mix of elements from SmartPhone and Camouflage, which are both SmartGames that I developed earlier. It’ a funny little sliding puzzle with 48 challenges that you can easily take with you and will appeal to both kids and adults.


The object is to move the 5 chickens on the transparent tiles to the right location. You can change the challenge by placing a different challenge card underneath the transparent lid.

The STARTER challenges are easy. You have 5 eggs and 5 chickens that must cover them, so it's not so difficult to find out which tile goes where. This level is very similar to SmartPhone. But the 3 other levels are more complicated. There are fewer eggs, but there are also some other farm animals on the challenge cards. Chickens that are not broody can't sit on top of one of the farm animals. This means it's less obvious where to place the chickens that are not broody.


Although it looks a little similar to the SmartGames “Camouflage” or “Airport” (both also have transparent tiles), it’s a completely different puzzle, because it’s a sliding puzzle. So you can’t just place the tiles where ever you want because they are fixed inside the lid of the game board. Like all sliding puzzles, you can't interchange the location of two tiles without changing something else. So in the final solution, each tile (and chicken) will have a specific end position. The best way to solve this kind of sliding puzzles is to see the puzzle tiles as wagons of a train. First you try to get the wagons in the right order and afterwards you “drive” your train to the right location.

As you can see in both examples on this page, it’s also allowed to slide a puzzle piece halfway to a position in the middle of the grid. This has confused many players, because this is different from most other existing sliding puzzles. Most of the illustrations were done by Hans, but some also by Marit or me. Although the puzzle-concept is more complex than SmartPhone, the puzzle is easier to play because you can see whether your result is right just by looking at the game.  With SmartPhone you still need to cross check with the solution to be sure that you have found the right combination of numbers.


In 2011 Smart released an easier version with “Dora the explorer” (in Dutch and French) and with Rasmus Klump (in Danish). They are both simpler versions of the original game with a theme that fits with the character. In Dora loves her friends you need to slide the hearts over Dora and her friends. In the game with Rasmus Klump you need to make sure that Rasmus and his friends all get a plate with pancakes. In both versions the objects (hearts or pancakes) are printed on the puzzle pieces and the characters on the challenge cards. This is the opposite of the version of Chicken Shuffle where the chickens are printed on the puzzle pieces and the eggs on the cards.

In 2013 Smart released also a simple version with Angry Birds. This version doesn’t have challenges where you are not allowed to cover some parts of the artwork (like the farm animals or water in the original game) and is much easier.


In 2019 we updated the original 2D Chicken Shuffle with a slightly easier 3D version, named Chicken Shuffle Junior. In 2023  we created a 2D version with dinosaurs, named Dino Danger, but this version will not be available worldwide, so it might be very hard to find. It uses the same easier challenges from the Dora version (but rotated 90°).

example of an easy challenge of Chicken Shuffle with 5 eggs

example of a difficult challenge of Chicken Shuffle with only 1 egg and water

Website ©2010 Raf Peeters

Products and images: © Smart