Zach Gage has mastered the art of taking well-known systems and twisting them to create something refreshingly novel yet approachably familiar. His latest release, Typeshift, combines anagrams with word search in a surprisingly challenging sliding block format. Really Bad Chess threw out the rigid one-to-one matchup of the classic game, swapping in random selections of pieces that could pit two Queens against five Rooks. Sage Solitaire added elements of Poker to the single-player card game, making thoughtful hand creations as important as clearing draw piles. All of these deviations still manage to capture the strategy and satisfaction of their inspirations while offering a new way to experience them.
For his next release, Gage is putting another spin on Solitaire that is both a gameplay variation and favorite footwear. Flipflop Solitaire removes the constricting laces of the standard game and “sets you free” by allowing players to stack cards down or up on the tableau and in any color order. This means if you have a red Seven visible, you could put a red or black Six or Eight on top of it. You don’t have to continue in the same direction, either, so that Eight could then accept a Seven or Nine.
The one restriction is that you can only move stacks of a single suit, so playing too loose can result in a bunch of immovable piles blocking your face-down cards. Since the goal is still to build up the four (or five) foundation piles by ordering the cards Ace through King, being able to maneuver stacks and access blocked cards remains a key component. This minor change seems like it will provide a stimulating challenge while balancing the more open placement options.
We won’t have to wait long to try this interesting twist for ourselves: Flipflop Solitaire will launch as a free download on the App Store November 9th.