Solitaire, FreeCell, Spider and so on… for decades, some of the favourite timewasters of office workers all around the world, as they came pre-installed on Windows PCs. Times may have changed, but there is still a craving for some of these timeless card games that can be played solo, with various videogames still reproducing them in digital form. The latest of which is World of Solitaire (not to be confused with the web-based game of the same name) just hitting our Xboxes a couple days ago. Is it a worthwhile timewaster? Let’s find out.
Card Captor Xbox
Much thanks to that infamous Windows game, most people think of the Klondike card game when thinking of Solitaire, but the term actually refers to a vast variety of card games that can be, as the name implies, solo. This game contains 5 of the most popular variants, most of which you most likely know, again, from Microsoft’s operating systems if not else. These are Klondike (the standard Solitaire), Spider, FreeCell, Tri-Peaks and Pyramid. Some can be played only with all 52 cards of the standard French-suited playing cards, while others offer easier modes too with only 1 or 2 suits to get through.
So, let’s say you never played any of these card games and have no clue what they’re about. While explaining the individual rules of each game takes far longer than learning them via a few matches of trial and error, just know that each of these games has to player try and reorder cards in specific ways, as they have to untangle a set of face-up and sometimes even face-down cards by moving them around by a certain ruleset. These games require strategy and being able to read multiple moves ahead, but also a healthy dose of luck, as certain card placements are literally not possible to solve.
Alongside with an elegant 3D presentation come over a different custom card designs, with both the front and back that can be customized. The table itself and some particle effects such as water can be added as well on top of over 25 fairly stylish background songs. Fortunately, World of Solitaire isn’t just fancy looks over game modes we abundantly already know – it in fact offers handy tutorials, an undo button, detailed player statistics, an XP system for further unlocks and more. It’s easy to jump into another round, as the game encourages improvement.
There is even a nice little quest system, where players need to complete certain achievements ranging from winning certain game modes, completing matches without using hints, all the way to more convoluted and expert ways to clear increasingly difficult variations of these classic solitaires. There’s even little puzzles to solve in here, unrelated to the solitaire card games, aimed at throwing an extra little bit of variety into the game.
The most loneliest game of my life
Clearly, World of Solitaire is that – a game about famous solo card games and not much else. It doesn’t want to be anything more, and the variety and customization are great. Some quality-of-life changes would be very much welcome however, as some of the controls in particular aren’t the most comfortable – having to move all across a board card by card instead of being able to use some shortcuts to do so can be real annoying for example. Some of the waiting times between the end of a match and the start of another can also be surprisingly high, but at this point I’m basically nitpicking. In short…
World of Solitaire is one of the best videogame versions on modern consoles of 5 famous solitaire games, and at an inviting price around 10 bucks, it’s definitely worth playing for fans of the genre. A lot of cool features extend its longevity, but perhaps allowing more customization of the rules, more actual gameplay variety and some extra quality-of-life changes would have made it a truly unmissable experience for card fans.
World of Solitaire
Xbox Series X
- Five classic games in one
- Interesting quests
- A lot of audiovisual customization
- Great presentation
- Could have featured a few more obscure card games
- Not always the most comfortable on a controller