Whether viewing photos of waterfalls or visiting them in person, people are captivated and can’t help but marvel at their splendor. Take a tour of American waterfalls in Waterscape Solitaire, where they appear as the backdrop of an intriguing "solitaire" card game that actually closely resembles mah jong with a couple of added twists.
Venture through snowy Yosemite Falls and work your way past sunny Havasu Falls, to name but two of the natural wonders you’ll encounter in the game. If the any of the falls pique your curiosity, you can click the "Info" button to pick up a few tidbits about them. The waterfalls change after completing a stage, which contains five games and one bonus round. Each waterfall gets the spotlight for a stage while nature- and seasonal-related phrases change at the end of every level. Unfortunately, they’re not too exciting, inspirational or motivational. For example, you can expect to encounter sayings like:
Like mah jong, you match pairs of cards facing up (Kings to Kings, twos to twos, and so on) to reveal the ones underneath. The twist is to find and match the golden cards instead of clearing the board like in mah jong to win the round. When you run out of matching pairs, you can look for a Wild card that works with any card, or use a power up to undo the last move or shuffle the remaining cards.
Power ups randomly appear on any card that has "Shuffle" or "Undo" marked on it. For example, if an 8 has "Shuffle" and you match it to another 8 with or without a power up, you earn a "Shuffle" power up. Once you run out of pairs, use Shuffle to mix up the cards to improve your chances of finding matches. Undo does exactly what you expect it to do (undo the last move).
You can also put one card in the free space to open more cards. Despite a few narrow escapes and almost losing the game, power ups and other "helpers" made it easy for me to squeak out of a rough spot.
Although the game doesn’t have the cool Asian tiles like in Solitaire Mah Jong, Waterscape Solitaire stands out with its power ups and serene scenes, and its graphics steal the show with the stunning images of waterfalls complete with animated flowing water and the designs on the back of the playing cards. The game’s addiction factor, however, could go either way; some won’t be able to stop playing while others might find it dull after a while.
Between every round, there’s a short wait for the next game to load that could test the patience of the younger set (and adults, too). Furthermore, the cards flip over slower than expected when compared to newer solitaire games, and the game is missing a much-needed feature: when you’re out of moves and power ups, it doesn’t let you know it’s over.
The music is a cross between upbeat elevator music and wedding music. While it could represent the serenity of waterfalls, the music irritates after playing a few levels and silence was better.
Those who love mah jong and solitaire will find Waterscape Solitaire refreshing. For others, the game could lose appeal and the fun factor after a few hands, but the trial period is enough to judge the game and almost get full experience. Beware that the game might not get harder within the trial period.