Game of the Month, February 2012: Fairway Solitaire

February was yet another strong month for great games on the App Store. The games we gave Must Have scores to were Reckless Racing 2, Beat Hazard Ultra, Midway Arcade, Pizza Vs. Skeletons, League of Evil 2, Frederic – Resurrection of Music, Beat Sneak Bandit, and Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective. But there can only be one Game of the Month, and this month it’s Fairway Solitaire, a game that proved there’s still plenty of life left in the classic card game.

Practically everyone on the planet has played the mindless but comforting game of solitaire that comes preinstalled on Windows computers. It’s not a very exciting game, but it’s accessible, engaging, and easy to learn. If you thought that was the pinacle of solitaire games, then Fairway Solitaire will blow your mind out your ear.

It may be built on the same principles as Microsoft’s solitaire, but Fairway Solitaire operates on a whole different level. Set up like a game of golf, it packs a mind-boggling amount of content, with each “hole” represented by a different card lay-out. As you play, you rack up points that can be spent on numbered “clubs,” which can be exchanged for playable cards to help you clear the board under par. Add in a hilarious commentary track and a wicked gopher, and you’ve got a maddeningly addictive, highly polished, absolute Must Have game.

Our runner-up for Game of the Month is Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective, a well-built port of a recent Nintendo DS game. In Ghost Trick, you play as the spirit of a man who died under mysterious circumstances. The thing is, you’ve lost your memory, so you have no idea who killed you or why. So, using your very limited mobility, you have to traverse the world by inhabiting nearby objects, eavesdrop on conversations for clues, and maybe even prevent other murders while you’re at it. Ghost Trick is as stylish as it is well-written, and it’s very hard to put down.

Congratulations to Big Fish Games and Capcom for bringing us two of the best titles released this month!

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