Solitaire With Fun Campaign Mode
Spyde Solitaire is a card-based video game made by the Pretty Good Games development studio. As the title might suggest, this game is based around a variant of solitaire known as spider solitaire.
The main appeal of the game is its single-player campaign mode, in which the player assumes the role of a card-playing millionaire who travels the world in search of increasingly difficult opponents to test himself against. Additionally, players can engage in multi-player games, in which two player alternate taking turns to cooperatively beat the game.
For those unfamiliar with the traditional version of solitaire, it is a card game that can be played by a single person using a single deck of 52 cards. The player starts the game by shuffling the deck and then dealing cards to what is known as the tableau. The tableau can best be thought of as the place where most of the game takes place as well as the area that will occupy the most space. In traditional solitaire the tableau consists of seven columns of playing cards, with the leftmost column containing one card and each successive column containing an additional card.
The cards are arranged in chronological order according to when they were dealt, and at the end of the dealing process the topmost card on each column is turned face up. This should result in the leftmost column having one card turned face-up with no cards underneath of it, the second column with one face-up card on top of a face-down card, and so on.
Players then try to rearrange the face-up cards, which can only be accomplished by one card on top of another, and only if the numerical value of the card being moved is one less than the numerical value of the card it is being moved on top of. Additionally, the suit of the card being moved cannot be the same color as the card it is being moved on top of.
Second Deck of Cards Adds Nice Variety
Spider Solitaire diverges from the traditional solitaire gameplay in several notable ways. The first of which is the inclusion of a second deck of playing cards, which increases the total number of cards in play to 104. The increased number of playing cards also equates into a much wider tableau; spider solitaire has a total of ten columns as opposed to the traditional seven.
Additionally, cards are dealt to the tableau in a different fashion in spider solitaire; there are four columns of six cards and six columns of five cards. Perhaps the most notable change in spider solitaire over traditional solitaire is that in spider solitaire, players can move cards around the tableau with no regard for the card's suit. For example, a six of clubs could be placed on top of a seven of spades, since spider solitaire is only concerned with a card's numeric value.
Spyde Solitaire uses a sort of cartoon art-deco design style in its graphics and sound. The game does its best to make the player feel like they are back in the 1920s with ragtime music and a storyline involving a millionaire who flies around in an airship. Overall, the theme is very unique and is a nice departure from the fantasy/sci-fi tropes that have been done to death. However, the setting is definitely an acquired taste and may not appeal to everyone.
Story Could Use Some Work
The story in Spyde Solitaire is very thin and really won't impact the player's enjoyment of the game at all. Most of the characters aren't fleshed out at all, which is really a shame since most of them at least look interesting.
The story is definitely an area of missed opportunity, as it really could have turned the game from a simple card game into something much more interesting. On the other hand, there really aren't any excessive cutscenes to detract from the gameplay, nor does the player have to pay much attention to the dialogue.
Using The Game
The game is very straightforward to use, and users shouldn't have any problems navigating its menus. Upon starting the program, players will be presented with the option to start or load a single-player campaign game, play a multi-player game or start a customized single-player game. Once the game is started, players should have a very easy time controlling it, as making a move is as simple as dragging and dropping a card from one point to another.
Whether or not the game is easy to learn or not will vary greatly depending on how familiar the player is with traditional solitaire or spider solitaire. For those who at least have a basic understanding of how traditional solitaire works, the game is more-or-less straightforward. However, the game doesn't really elaborate on some of the finer points of spider solitaire, which can be frustrating for new players.
Spyde Solitaire is essentially a card game, and as such it's somewhat unreasonable to expect much out of it in the graphics department. However, the graphics definitely a step above those featured in the game of spider solitaire that comes free on many computers. Additionally, the characters featured in the game have quite a bit of charm, and add quite a bit to the game with their humor.
Lot's of Game Options Increase Lasting Appeal
Spyde Solitaire has some interesting features and updated graphics, but ultimately it's a very similar experience to a program that's already one most users' computers. In terms of lasting appeal, each game of Spyde Solitaire is guaranteed to be different, which ensures that the gameplay is always fresh and never gets monotonous.
Review by Robert J.
Robert J is a longtime gamer and is presently employed in the IT industry. He currently lives in the Milwaukee area with his dog, Buddy.
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