I’m not what you would consider a mobile gaming “fan”, but every so often I’ll find a title that strikes me and I end up spending way too much time with it. Generally speaking, games I tend to avoid are action-related, as the control just never sits well with me. Games that do grab me are usually simpler in design, such as Mahjong, Doodle Jump, Fruit Nijna, and of course, card games.
That said, I had little-to-no interest in touchscreens for gaming until I went hands-on back in 2009 with ASUS’ EeeTop PC. At that time, I loaded up the Solitaire game bundled with Windows and found myself loving it. Moving from a mouse to a touchscreen for this sort of game seemed like the perfect fit. So when I recently tried to find some good games for my Android phone, it’s no surprise that I decided to look for a good Solitaire game. And a good Solitaire game I found: Solitaire Deluxe.
Solitaire Deluxe is available for both Android and iOS in free and ad-free ($4.99) flavors. It offers a total of 16 popular and unpopular game styles, including Klondike, Freecell, Spider, Golf and Yukon. If you don’t know how to play any one of the styles, the game offers a tutorial that can solve that problem in a mere minute or so.
At the main screen, you’re able to go ahead and start a game, check out the rewards store, change settings or view personal stats and of course, share the game with Facebook friends. The rewards store offers new card faces and backgrounds, with almost all being purchasable with in-game tokens. Tokens can be earned by playing “Solitaire Arcade”, or be purchased for real money. I am not quite sure of the ultimate draw of doing the latter, however, as what you can spend your tokens on is limited.
The game’s “Daily Winnable Deals” mode requires an entry cost of 100 tokens and offers a total of 15 guaranteed winnable games across Klondike, Tri-Peaks and Pyramid styles. In this mode, top scores will be recorded on the official Solitaire Deluxe Facebook page, so competition is alive and well here, despite Solitaire being a solo game.
I tested out a variety of different Solitaire games before stumbling on this one – so what captured me? The game is polished, both in design and in aesthetics. The animations are nice, as is the control. Plus, with robust stats recording and also the ability to compete with your friends and against your own high scores, there’s incentive to keep playing. The tutorials are quite nice also if you want to break away from the traditional Klondike (patience) variant (I am a victim of playing one style for far too long).
If you’re a Solitaire fan, it goes without saying that Solitaire Deluxe is worth checking out. While the developer does sell tokens for cash, there’s really no draw (from my perspective) to purchase them, so you don’t have to worry about downloading this and feeling pressured. Purchasing the odd new card face could keep things fresh, but it’s not difficult to earn enough tokens for that via normal play.
One downside I found is related to the ad-free version. There, the ads are in fact removed, but like way too many other apps, the blank space isn’t filled in afterwards with something else… it’s just a black space. Still, a minor niggle in what’s otherwise an excellent Solitaire package.