Solitaire is one of those great games that we all learn at a young age, usually about the same time your dad or big brother teaches you how to play "52 Pick-up". The card game that has become so prolific it has been packed in with every version of Microsoft Windows and is generally a freebie app for cell phones, even on the older and most basic phones that only had a 1-2Ē screen. In fact, Solitaire can probably thank the digital age for its continued success because, while this is a great game to play alone, it does take up a bit of space if you play with an actual deck of cards.
Zen Studios has just released their version of the famous card game called 3D Solitaire, but what can the studio actually add to the classic, other than 3D visuals, to get gamers to pay for what is so readily available for free? HonestlyÖnot much.
Like most 3DS games, the 3D effect is cool when you first start up the game, but then you start struggling with finding the perfect slider position, which seems to vary based on the theme you are using. And at the end of the day, all you are really getting are cards that hover above an animated background, and if you plan on playing this game for as long as most Solitaire gamers play Solitaire then youíll just want to turn off the 3D entirely or choose to play on the lower screen.
In the options, you can choose to play 3D Solitaire using the stick/D-pad and the buttons to select and move the cards floating on the top screen, or use the stylus and tap and drag your cards on the bottom screen much like the mouse on a PC. In this mode the top screen is merely animated artwork. There is a built-in Hint system that will wiggle any playable cards, but the game wonít automatically tell you when you hit a dead end. Youíll have to tap Hint and see nothing wiggle to realize itís time to deal a new hand.
Sure, 3D Solitaire has some nice graphics, both in crisp card graphics and some fun animated backgrounds that come across more like elaborate screensavers. And if you donít like or get bored with the three themes available in the game you can use your 3DS camera to snap your own pic and use it as the backdrop for future solitaire games; that is, once youíve earned enough point to unlock this perk.
Yes, 3D Solitaire has all sorts of arbitrary objectives hidden within normal gameplay that reward you with points that serve to unlock new themes and the elusive photo mode. And while there are dozens of variations when it comes to Solitaire; hundreds if you factor in Mahjong derivatives, sadly, this game only offers two, Klondike 1 and Klondike 3; arguably, the two most familiar but also the most boring variations of the game.
3D Solitaire isnít a bad game. My only problem is that there just isnít enough here to constitute a release or at least anything you should be paying for. A quick glance at the iTunes store shows more than 200 Solitaire games, most of which are free or $.99, and anything costing more than that is loaded with extra features or game modes, so charging $3 for this game seems a bit outrageous. And if their goal is to release more themes and game modes as DLC, I just donít see that working out too well.
Every one of you reading this likely has a phone that can play everything 3D Solitaire has to offer and probably more, and you wonít need to spend $3 or carry around your 3DS to play it. Zen Studios had a pretty good idea here. They just needed to flesh it out with a bit more content before trying to sell it to the public.