Saturday, September 15

Review: Spider Solitaire F [Nintendo Switch eShop]

I suppose we’re at the point in the Switch’s popularity and lifespan that we’re now seeing the arrival of titles I wasn’t even sure a gaming console needed like relatively simple single-player cards games. So why play a game electronically that you could simply break out a deck of cards and play in-person? It’s not my place to ask I suppose so keeping the above in mind how well does Spider Solitaire F work out?

Well, it’s Solitaire… and you can play it electronically. While Spider Solitaire isn’t specifically a variant I’m terribly familiar with the Tutorial does a decent job of walking you through the rules, which aren’t hard to pick up. Your goal is to complete a run of cards from King down to Ace in a specific suit which will clear that stack from the table. Working with multiple piles, with some cards covered, you’ll need to try to shift cards and partial stacks around to reveal and make use of them all before running out of fresh cards or moves. One thing that changes this experience from playing it with a deck of cards is that each of the game’s 100 total sets is pre-determined so success is always possible. Combining this fact with the provided ability to undo previous moves and in a way the title has almost a puzzle game feel at its heart as well.

With that in mind, the question revolves mostly around how well it plays and performs on Switch. The most surprising, and disappointing thing to know is that somehow touch controls aren’t supported, something that seems like it would practically be a base assumption. Not having that as an option while using the joycon for control works it is also slower and more cumbersome than it would be if you could just touch and grab cards to move them around. Aside from that the only problem I had was perhaps not understanding the rules but when I got to the point I’d consolidated all of my cards into 4 stacks I couldn’t pull the next set of cards, instead I needed to spread them out to get more. I’m not sure if this is a rule and intended or just a quirk but it’s worth noting if you find yourself stuck like that at some point.

At the end of the day this is an electronic version of a game you could already play anywhere at any time with just a deck of cards handy. That said, the pre-made nature of the game’s 100 sets removes the randomness and when combined with an ability to undo your moves the game takes on a feel of a puzzle game at times as well. A lack of touch support is disappointing but not necessarily crippling, the result is a title that’s nice as an option but not obviously something most gamers are likely to be thrilled to check out.

Score: 6

  • Reasonably well-implemented on the whole
  • 100 scenarios to clear, with Easy, Normal, and Hard difficulties
  • The inclusion of an unlimited Undo option gives the game a puzzle-like quality at times

  • The lack of touchscreen support is a bit surprising and disappointing
  • An additional random deck option would have been nice
  • At the end of the day it’s a game you don’t need the Switch to play