Saturday, March 2

Review: Klondike Solitaire [Nintendo Switch eShop]

Reviewing digital versions of analog games you could just as easily choose to play with some simple equipment, in this case a mere deck of cards, is always a bit unusual. Klondike Solitaire, the game probably just about everyone has played at least once when they’re bored, is the game in question for this review. While the game is represented well enough I suppose, offering a variety of decks, “tables”, and background music that you’ll unlock over time, there are some limitations that you should keep in mind while considering a purchase.

Starting out with only 2 starter deck options for both the fronts and backs of the cards you’ll be looking to win some games in order to start building experience to unlock the next set of goodies. You won’t get to choose what you get, there’s a set progression that will be followed. Your game options are limited to which cards fronts and backs you want, whether to use standard or Vegas rules, whether to draw cards 1 or 3 at a time, the table, and the music. Once you’ve revealed all cards and have them each on the table it will offer to complete the game automatically but it won’t detect when you’re done so you’ll need to give up yourself.

Since there’s not much to know about the game mechanically whether you’re interested in it may come down to its limitations. Probably the most disappointing issue is that touchscreen controls aren’t supported, even in handheld mode you’ll be stuck using the physical controls. In addition, for whatever reason in order to concede a game and get points for your progress you’ll need to tell the game to return to the Main Menu, if you simply restart you’ll lose your points. Finally, since about all the game has to offer for thrills is unlocks the rate you gain experience and reveal them is simple far too slow. Probably most irksome is that some deck face unlocks are only partial, meaning you get enough experience only to then unlock a quarter of the next deck at a time? As many alternatives as there are the rate you obtain them is utterly baffling.

If you’re a massive Solitaire fan and want to be able to play it anywhere without needing to lug around a deck of cards (somehow the Switch is more convenient?) this isn’t a terrible option. That said, the lack of touchscreen support and the glacial pace for unlocking content are both irritants you should be very much aware of before you buy in. There aren’t too many card playing options in the Switch eShop and most of them seem to have similar limitations, you’ll probably be best choosing which specific game suits you best and work with it.

Score: 6

  • The overall presentation is pretty nice
  • Unlockable elements help you slowly cater the game to your taste

  • No touchscreen support
  • The extremely slow pace of unlocks, and even unlocks that require multiple passes to complete, is a bit baffling