If there is one way to scare hardcore gamers away its putting faeries in your game and even proclaiming it in the title. Then for added measure base the whole concept of the game around solitaire just to make sure. These two factors alone should have been enough to make me give this game a wide berth, but the low price and Steam achievements lured me in and before I knew it I was hooked.
Faerie Solitaire is as the name suggests a casual Indie card game with faeries. Instead of merely making the card deck faerie themed and calling it a day Subsoap actually put a lot of effort into their creation. The result is a game that is casual entertainment through and through, but with enough depth and added elements to draw in a wider audience. The story which is illustrated through some nice hand-painted cut-scenes is quite strange and sees the young hero travelling through the world of Avalon trying to discover why all the faeries seem to be in pain. While mildly interesting and certainly worth seeing through to the end its not what will keep you glued to your screen.
The gameplay, which is firmly rooted in Solitaire, sees you trying to clear out levels using the rules that most casual gamers will be familiar with. Instead of trying to form perfect stacks of cards however, you just need to remove cards one at a time from the playing field by making sure that the card you are selecting is either one value higher or lower than what you have at the bottom of your screen. Obviously this isn’t always possible, which means you’ll have to draw a new card which continues until the screen is cleared or your drawing deck is depleted. With some luck and skill you can start using combos which is the removal of large amounts of cards in a sequence without drawing a new one. While it isn’t always required to get a “perfect” (the removal of all cards) you will have various level goals like achieving a certain combo length or making a required sum of money. These start out easy enough, but towards the end can get a bit hectic. The game is quite easy however, and doesn’t have much of a frustration factor.
A neat twist is that while playing you’ll uncover eggs, which can be hatched and the little critter born will earn experience depending on how well you are doing. Get enough experience and they’ll even evolve into an “adult” form. You’ll need money and resources, which are also uncovered while playing.
The pet element can pretty much be ignored, but it does add some unique elements to the game and finding all the critters not to mention evolving them all will take a long time. Cash can also be spent on power-ups that will allow actions like extra “undo’s” and the ability to peek at the next card in your draw stack. For those that finish the story mode, five extra challenge levels await with a nice achievement if you can crack them.
Faerie Solitaire exceeded my expectations and offered a well crafted and addictive playing experience. The difficulty can be adjusted if you prefer more of a challenge, but sadly the rather low resolution can’t. Some sort of multi-player would also have been cool, but Solitaire, as the name implies, is pretty much a one man affair. If you are looking for a simple yet addictive casual game and don’t mind playing with creatures that has names like “Teeny Tadpole” then Faerie Solitaire is just the thing. Hopefully there will be some updates in the future.
*Review originally published October 2010.
- OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
- Processor: 800 Mhz (minimum)
- Memory: 256MB (minimum)
- Hard Disk Space: 100MB
- DirectX®: 7 (minimum)
- OS: OSX Snow Leopard 10.6.8
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4Ghz
- Memory: 1 GB
- Hard Drive: 100 MB