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 Soltrio Solitaire-XBLA

You know the second best way to play the card game Solitaire is on a PC, it makes perfect sense actually. There's no need to manually reshuffle cards, its faster, it gives people something to do when they otherwise should be working and whatnot and best of all, it's free.

All the reasons Solitaire works on a PC are the same reasons it fails on Xbox Live Arcade.

Soltrio Solitaire� for XBLA is a solitaire game that costs $10. Yes, solitaire. You know that game that comes free with every Windows PC ever made? Does anyone see anything wrong with this picture?

You have to play on a TV, which isn't very practical if you are trying to be sneaky and play at work. And it's not free. In fact, it costs 800 Microsoft Points (again, $10!).

There are 2 modes in the game- Classic Mode and Voyage Mode.

For what it's worth (and it�s certainly not $10!), in Classic mode there are 13 different varieties of the game included, you get your usual solitaire variety (better known as Klondike), as well as games like FreeCell, Archway, Grandfather's Clock, Zodiac, Forty Thieves, and a lot of other fancy names for what are essentially, weird versions of the same solitaire game you know and love. Odds are you won't know how to play most of these new games, I didn�t!

So save yourself about 6-7 minutes trying them out and reading the endless tutorials -my advice to you is to just stick to Klondike and don�t even bother with the fancy ones!

In Voyage mode you'll journey across an island, you must win three games at each �location� before being allowed to move on to the next one. The rewards for winning at all the locations are some achievement points for your gamer score and some graphics to use in building your customized card decks. More on that later.

And then there�s multiplayer action, yeah I know, multiplayer solitaire kinda seems oxymoronic, but hey, don�t blame the messenger! Here you�ll either be working together with another player in co-op mode or competing against each other in head to head.

As if all this doesn�t sound bad enough, let�s talk about the controls shall we. Y�know there's something that just feels wrong about playing solitaire with a controller. Moving the cards around with it was so much more cumbersome than playing with a mouse, (I will admit though it still beats having to manually shuffle and deal out the real thing).

Note to future game developers: the controller is not the best device for dragging cards from one stack to another -sometimes you miss card piles or grab the wrong cards because of the awkwardness of the controls. But even worse is when you move the controller around the screen to pick cards and it jumps from card to card instead of moving around freely.

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Look I get it ok, its Microsoft�s attempt to win over the so called more mature �non-gamers� out there (parents, grandparents,) to their Xbox 360. That seems to be the trend lately that Nintendo DS has started with their new fangled ad campaign.

Solitaire is universal, it can be played at the gamers pace, there are no timers to beat, there are no enemies, and no dungeons to explore. It is the perfect �noob� game and if that�s you, then by all means go and have fun! Hang on a second �Fifteen more minutes Grandma and then I�m going to need the Xbox back, alright?�

And that's pretty much the game. It's a lot of solitaire, over and over again but definitely not worth the $10 being charged. Well to be fair you do get some little extra features like being able to design your own card decks. Although I don�t know about you but unless you're some kind of creepy playing-card buff, designing your own decks doesn�t really sound like that much fun.

SideNote: in the interest of this review I did in fact design a deck and long story short it wasn�t very much fun and the deck didn't even look that good!

Visually, �Soltrio Solitaire� doesn�t exactly raise the bar or anything, but why spoil us now? And really how good could the graphics and effects be for a card game?

Soltrio Solitaire� really was a waste of everybody�s time- yours, mine and the developers.

The whole concept surrounding �Soltrio Solitaire� was flawed from the get-go.

Nobody needs to buy solitaire, because anyone who owns a PC already has it, and can get access to more versions of the game for free, just by Googling it on the web.

The developers were obviously hoping to get your $10, and bank on your desire to play solitaire against other people.

But really folks does it even qualify as solitaire anymore when two people are playing?

Soltrio Solitaire� is a rip off. Pure and simple. It's overpriced and it under-delivers. Avoid this one at all costs.

Find out more about Soltrio Solitaire Here

Graphics B-
Sound B-
Pickup & Play B-
Overall Fun B-

Posted by oxyjen on Aug 9, 2007


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