Solitaire and Golf Combine For A Fun Card Game
The gameplay in Fairway Solitaire is an attempt to combine the mechanics of a card-based game with a golf motif. Although games in these two genres normally have a tendency to be somewhat dull, the combination of the two game types results in some genuinely fun moments. The game will definitely have players coming back again and again to play "Just one more round."
How Fairway Works
The game starts with multiple columns of cards arranged faced-down against a golf-themed background. At the bottom of each of these columns there is a single card that is turned face-up. This arrangement should be familiar to anyone who has ever played a traditional game of solitaire. As in traditional solitaire, the player's goal is to clear the face-up cards from the board. Doing this will cause the next card in the column to flip up, making it available for removal.
Where Fairway Solitaire diverges from the standard formula is in its use of a key card. This card sits at the bottom of the player's screen along with separate deck of face-down cards. Players are only able to remove cards from the board that are one step below or above the value of the key card.
For instance, if the key card is a seven of diamonds, the player may move a six or eight of any suit on top of it. The player's goal is to move as many face-up cards onto the key card as possible. Once the player runs out of cards to place on the key card, they are able to complete the round by clicking on the deck next to the key card. Completing the round is akin to finishing a hole on a golf course, and the number of cards the player managed to collect during that round is their score for that round.
Brave Sand Traps and Rough Terrain
As soon as players have the basics down, things really start to get interesting. The game continues its golfing analogue by introducing concepts such as sand traps and rough terrain. Each one of these hazards poses a challenge for a player and forces them to alter their play style in a variety of ways. These can range from randomly locking certain cards to rearranging their position on the board. These challenges really do a great job of keeping the game play fresh and fun, ensuring that each playthrough is unique.
The game also keeps players hooked by providing them with in-game cash that can be used to unlock bonuses, which range from costumes for the player's avatar to temporary bonuses that help a player through a difficult round.
Golf Theme Integrated Well
Fairway Solitaire does an excellent job of simulating all the best aspects of golf while eliminating many of the sport's tedious features. In a regular golf game, players can quickly become bogged down with choices like club selection, shot angles and green reading. Fairway Solitaire turns these normally archaic options into fun, easy-to-understand features that enhance the player's fun instead of hindering it.
The game also simulates many of the random aspects of golf, such as wild shots and long drives. The game really combines the best aspects of solitaire and golf and manages to become more than the sum of its parts.
No Real Story, But Maybe Not Necessary
Fairway Solitaire really doesn't offer much in the way of a narrative storytelling experience. Players simply start out the game as a low-level golfer at a local country club. They simply keep playing against opponents that increase in difficulty in an attempt to accrue as much prize money as possible. Players looking for a compelling story definitely won't find it in Fairway Solitaire. On the other hand, players who are just looking a fun way to kill time will be glad to know they won't get bogged down with needless dialogue.
Easy to Learn
Fairway Solitaire does a great job of acclimating new players to the game, thanks in large part its in-depth tutorial. This optional game mode will walk users through a game and explain each aspect of the game on a step-by-step basis.
The game also uses a simple point-and-click interface, ensuring that players don't have to learn any complex commands to have fun. Overall, Fairway Solitaire does a great job of supplying the player with all the information they need to start playing the game. In fact, players who already understand how to play regular solitaire should be able to entirely bypass the game's tutorial and skip right to the real game.
Players who enjoy playing any type of solitaire on a regular basis will find themselves coming back to Fairway Solitaire again and again. For players who aren't as enthusiastic about solitaire, the game should keep them entertained for several hours.
Unfortunately, most of the game's features can be experienced in about two to three hours. Any continued enjoyment that will be derived from the game really stems from how much a player enjoys trying to beat their own high score.
The graphics in Fairway Solitaire probably aren't going to knock anyone's socks off; the main draw of the game isn't its hyper-realistic graphics. Instead, the game uses simple, cartoon-like graphics to support the strong gameplay elements. The game's color palette is bright and does a great job of conveying necessary information to the player. The sound in the game is also great, with an announcer making hushed comments regarding the player's progress.
Conclusion - Original and Fun
Overall, the game really stands out for its originality and should definitely be tried by any player who enjoys unique card games.
Review by Robert J.
Robert J has been an avid gamer for over 20 years. He currently lives in the Milwaukee area with his dog Buddy.
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