Solitaire – A Classic
Tested version: 1.42
Latest version: 1.55
Requires Android: from 1.6
Does anyone even remember playing solitaire with a real deck of guards? I don't know about you, but I do remember playing the virtual version, slouching in front of our old family Windows XP PC.
I'm always pleased to see classics make their way onto smartphones, and also curious to see how said classics are transformed to suit the Android platform—so you can imagine that I was more than happy to try out Solitaire, which bears a ballpark resemblance to the Windows solitaire.
Read on for more deets!
Features & Use
Test device: Samsung Galaxy Nexus
Android version: 4.0.4
Mods: CyanogenMod 9
Solitaire is very true to the original and well-loved version of the game, and the app doesn't feature any extra new functions. This means that if you're familiar with how to play the game (the rules for which are fairly simple), you can go right ahead and play without having to think about it too much.
The settings are what set the app apart from some of the other solitaire applications out there. There are options for displaying or hiding various details such as for how long you've been playing and the score. My stance on settings is the following: while a lot of users appreciate being able to adjust an app to suit their needs and preferences, I wonder how useful it is to have an unnecessarily large amount of settings to play around with. Too many options can quickly become overwhelming.
That said, there are some useful options as well, such as how many cards are to be dealt out, whether cards should be turned around immediately or whether the score calculations should be Vegas system.
Hints and pointers can also be displayed, but unfortunately this means that they then remain onscreen permanently rather than be accessible whenever one might require a bit of help.
The game's background and the front and back of the cards can be altered, as well as the text font. The shadowing effect can also be de/activated.
Two small buttons on the lower right allow you go undo your last move and display the game stats.
I was pleased to see that settings can be accessed and managed during a game and come into effect immediately.
So let's get to what got my goat: the restart game button doesn't require a second prompting, meaning that if you hit it accidentally your entire as-is game will be lost.Furthermore, the app doesn't seem optimally programmed seeing as is draws heavily (50%) on the processor of the high end device we used for testing. This results in overheating of the phone and drains the battery power. To illustrate: three minutes of gaming cost me a whopping 6% of battery power.
The Android status bar is not displayed, even though there's plenty of space onscreen.
Solitaire looks promising, but it's still quite rough around the edges.
Screen & Controls
Solitaire looks a lot like the classic Windows Solitaire, which isn't a bad look at all.
I'm not so fond of some the the choppy looking numbers and letters that come up both on the cards and in the settings, nor do I like the non-standard buttons that only vaguely resemble Android elements.
Controls are perfectly okay, though.
Speed & Stability
Solitaire runs rather smoothly save for a slight delay action when moving the cars and scrolling through the settings.
On the brighter side: the game is very stabile.
Solitaire is available for free; it features ad banners to help support the app, but these banners are discreet and well placed and thus don't prove to be a nuisance.
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