Game Design, Game Reviews

Game Review: Legacy of Solitaire 3D – A game that tries too hard

solitaire_iconThe first thing I thought after running the Legacy of Solitaire 3D game was: “Ooohhh, shiny!” Here is my review of something I can only describe as a card game that wants to become a puzzle game when it grows up.

Available on Google PlaySo Legacy of Solitaire 3D is essentially the old and well-known card game. Older folks will remember it as one of the four card games available in the earliest versions of Windows, and yours truly, who played Solitaire with actual cards as a kid, feels extremely old right about now.

There’s not really much to say about gameplay, as it doesn’t stray away from the original game – it uses a single deck of cards, split into seven columns. The goal is to create four batches of cards, sorted from the lowest to the highest in a single colour.

solitaire ss 2It has the easy mode and the hard mode, with the hard mode having you draw three cards from the deck instead of the regular one. So, nothing out of the ordinary here.

But here’s where the game goes from your usual card game to something completely insane, and why I said right from the start that it actually wants to be a puzzle game.

What the…?

The Legacy of Solitaire 3D features really cool 3D graphics, a *campaign* mode, a full-blown map of something like a pirate island, and a progress bar with the player moving about the island.

Boy-That-Escalated-Quickly-Anchorman

Well, that escalated quickly.

If I ignore the fact that there’s absolutely no point whatsoever in having really cool looking 3D graphics, fancy colours, a pirate map and a campaign mode in a simple card game like Solitaire and just pay attention to what I see, I can only conclude that the game looks fancy as hell.

But I can’t shake the feeling that someone wasted a whole lot of talent and invested some serious hours into a project people will have a hard time appreciating – all the flashy stuff doesn’t hide the fact that this is *just* an old card game.

To make things worse, it has stages and levels – each one actually being the same game, albeit somewhat more difficult as you move along the way. Or maybe that’s just me being a miserable Solitaire failure.

Monetisation twist

What I did like about the game is how it handled monetisation. The game gives a limited amount of hints and undos, and if you want to earn more, you’ll have to watch a rewarded video ad. Besides, after every level (and every restart), a video ad is played, with an option to skip it after five seconds, which is decent.

solitaire ss 2There’s also a full-blown shop where players can buy undos and hints for real money, as well as a pair of new worlds.

All in all, it’s a good game. It looks really, really nice, which is something I would have never expected from a game such as Solitaire and I fear it might have been great talent thrown in the wind. If this was the developers’ test to see if they can make a full-blown puzzle game with stages, levels, boosts and more – congratulations, you’ve passed. Now replace the Solitaire with some puzzles and you’re good to go.

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