Solitaire's Journey
for Amiga (OCS/ECS)

Mr Creosote:
Company: Destiny Software Productions
Year: 1992
Genre: Puzzle
Theme: Board
Language: English
Licence: Commercial
Views: 7948
Review by Mr Creosote (2016-07-29)

First thing I learned from this game: there is more to Solitaire than I ever imagined (or what Microsoft is telling us). Apparently, what I've played under the name of “Solitaire” all my life seems to be actually called “Klondike”. There are more than 100 other variants, all of which you can try out right here and now. What all the games in this family have in common is that they are about sorting cards based on specific rules.

More than 100… what could possibly be different in so many? Sure, some are rather similar – Klondike and Double Klondike are basically the same, just with one or two decks respectively. However, if you really get into it, you will see that even seemingly small rule adaptions may result in vastly different game strategies to become possible (or even necessary).

For example, in the standard Klondike, tableau piles can only be built down by alternate colours, minding the cards' values. Another variant will let you put any card to any tableau pile. That may seem like a huge advantage leading to a much easier win at first. Until you realize that in turn, you are not allowed to take arbitrary stacks off such a pile anymore, but only one card at a time – and then also not attach it to another tableau pile anymore, but only to its final place. So actually, the seemingly more relaxed rules make the game harder, because you have to come up with your own strategy how to organize these temporary piles.

Apart from letting you choose which variant you want to play, Solitaire's Journey offers two “story” modes. One (“Quest”) is styled as a trip through an abandoned house. In each room, you need to play one of three Solitaire variants in order to progress to the next one. The other (“Journey”) is a trip across the USA, from coast to coast, with you earning the travel costs by playing… Solitaire. Of course, these may seem a little forced, but they do give you a good frame for your games and sort of force you to try out different variants.

Of course, the thing with Solitaire is that you will rarely ever win. Regardless of how perfect your strategy is, there are just many more possible initial distributions of cards which will make winning impossible than the opposite. The game acknowledges this by handing out points for certain intermediate actions. Progress in Quest and Journey modes is measured by these points rather than always requiring to win.

Do I recommend this game? What can I say? This is a huge collection with basically any variant you may wish for (and more). Graphically, it is perfectly sufficient. Mouse controls are completely intuitive. So if you want to play a Solitaire game, this one is a perfect recommendation. If card games bore you… well…

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