Solitaire is about as classic as games get. It’s simple: all you need is a deck of cards and some time. You sit with the cards laid out in front of you, patiently ordering your stacks and revealing new cards that you may or may not be able to play immediately. Should you win, your reward is nothing but the satisfaction that comes from finishing the game. Solitaire by Backflip takes this classic card game and juices it full of rewards and micro-transactions, feeding off the freemium craze.
The basic version of Solitaire that everyone knows makes up the core of Solitaire by Backflip, but the game includes a few variations. You can play the simplest method, in which your draw pile is revealed one card at a time, or you can increase the difficulty to draw three at a time. You can also choose between basic gameplay or Vegas style. In the Vegas version, you can only cycle through your draw pile once.
Play with yourself in solitaire.
Where Backflip really makes this game their own is during the gameplay. You have a bank of coins, and you earn coins by placing cards into new stacks correctly. You can earn even more coins by placing a card into its foundation pile at the top of the screen, built up from Ace to King. These coins can be used to unlock things in the game. For instance, if you wish to play with a deck of Ragdoll Blaster-themed cards, that will cost you.
Coins play an even bigger role than unlocking new decks, however. If you’re stuck and the card you need is buried under two others that you can’t play, you’ll have to shuffle and restart the game. In Solitaire by Backflip, you can instead use your coins to purchase hints, which will point you in the right direction, or to buy cheats. For instance, for the right number of coins, you could move cards around to different stacks in order to complete the game.
The color purple.
While we’re all for freemium games that allow you to buy bigger farms or deadlier weapons to give you the advantage, using in-game money to purchase a win seems wrong. It takes all the challenge out of the game. We have to ask the question, if you’re going to cheat at a single-player card game, why play at all?
Morals and micro-transactions aside, Backflip has made a nice little Solitaire game. The visuals are crisp, and the animations are fluid. Even the sound effects of shuffling and snapping cards against the table are great. The other themed decks for Ragdoll Blaster 2 and NinJump are fun to use as well.
In the end, Solitaire by Backflip is a good card game if you ignore the freemium elements, but for players new to the game, this is not a good representation of Solitaire. Play for the challenge, not for the coins.