Solitairica (iOS, PC)

SOLITAIRICA_BOXThis isn’t your typical Solitaire game!  It’s a mix of the familiar single player card classic mixed with RPG battle elements!  Fight the monster armies of Emperor Stuck by challenging crazy characters.  It’s available to download on iOS and PC, but reviewed on iPad here.

The basic gameplay is a simple version of Spider Solitaire.  Match as many cards as you can, and when you can’t match anymore, draw another card.  When you draw a card, that acts as the enemy’s turn.  During their turn, they can do things like attack your hit points or mess up the cards on the field to slow you down.  When you finish matching all the cards, you win the battle.  But if the enemy runs your hit points down to zero, it’s Game Over.

The cards have different colors associated with them. When you play cards of a color, meters will fill up on the bottom right of the screen.  When you have enough of a certain color, you can cast a magic spell.  These spells can do various things, like heal yourself or give you armor, stun the enemy, or destroy some cards on the field.  Use these spells to give you an edge in battle.

After you win a fight, you’ll earn gold.  Use gold in the shop between battles to buy more powerful spells and other items that’ll help you out.  Don’t be afraid to spend your money either!  Because once you lose all your hit points, you’ll have to start over from the very beginning, and you don’t get to keep the gold you earn or the spells you buy.  But when you do lose, you’ll earn special crystals that you can use to buy more powerful decks to use next time.  And you get to keep those!

That’s really the only problem I had with the game, actually.  And it’s not so much of a problem as it is an annoyance, since the game was designed to be like that.  With only 18 monsters to battle, they had to make it challenging, and since Solitaire is different every time you play it, it doesn’t get too old with repeated plays.  Although the design choices did deter a sense of progression a little bit, and it did get a little boring fighting the same monsters over and over again, even if they do switch them up slightly.  And don’t worry, you only have to start over again if you die.  If you are in the middle of fighting monsters and quit the game, it’ll start you up at the last monster you fought.  But aside from that minor quibble, this is a pretty decent and well-designed game of Solitaire.  And unlike Pocket Card Jockey, another Solitaire game I reviewed and loved, you don’t have to hurry when playing this one.  You can take your time and relax, sort of!

SOLITAIRICA_SCREEN

Kid Factor:

Even though you’re fighting monsters, there’s nothing really violent in this game.  When the monsters attack, they may show a picture of them biting your head or something silly like that, but that’s it.  Reading skill is a must, but one thing I like is that they actually show you how to play Solitaire first.  I’ve played many Solitaire games where they just assume the player knows how to do things, but for some kids, this may be their first time playing Solitaire.  Also, since this is a premium game, there are no in-game ads or purchases!  Yay!

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