King, the firm behind 'Candy Crush', has launched a Rummy-style multiplayer game called 'Shuffle Cats'.

Candy Crush

Candy Crush

The exciting new release is the company's first real-time competitive title, which has been developed by King's London-based Monarch studio.

The game is based in the UK capital in the 1920s and its central characters are anthropomorphic cats who swoop over rooftops to play illicit card games.

'Shuffle Cats' is, in effect, a quirky variation of the traditional card game Rummy, with matches being awarded to the player who reaches a specific points target first.

Lead game designer Ben Hollis told WIRED: "Rummy is at least a hundred years old, so taking that and tweaking it for the mobile experience and making it right for the modern gamer has been the biggest challenge.

"We found that it had one major pitfall, which is when you lay down your cards from your seven-card hand, in the original version of Rummy, those cards stay on the table, and your hand doesn't replenish. Eventually, your hand gets smaller and smaller, and you lose all the choice, and that feeling of 'I can get out of this, I can come back'."

Ben added: "If you start with a bad hand, that feels really negative, so we looked at ways of solving that and came up with the card refill mechanic.

"That's our one tweak to the Rummy rules, which hopefully makes it a more rewarding experience and gives the player more choice as they're playing."