Cartoony pirate cliches abound in this fun solitaire game.
ARRRRRR! Pirates are certainly hot these days. Actually, have been for awhile now that I think about it. Their influence has been felt in movies, TV shows and books. Well now they have finally arrived, as evidenced by this pirate themed solitaire card game! Alright, I grant you it seems a stretch to really incorporate single player card games with terror on the high seas. So, is Pirate Solitaire a treasure worth digging up?
The core of the game is the tried and true up/down solitaire card game where you’re clearing cards that are either 1 higher or 1 lower than your current card. So if you currently have a 5 then you can clear either a 4 or 6. The hope is to chain a few together and clear the board before your draw cards run out and the game ends. As with any solitaire game that largely depends on the order of the draw deck but a good strategy and chaining together cards can definitely help your chances.
In addition to that main game mode there are also a few mini-games that you can play instead. A few are similar to the up/down game from the main mode but need you to fulfill different objectives while playing. Outside of that the other modes are pretty different and either have you pushing treasures around on a map like a slide puzzle. They’re a nice diversion but not nearly as engaging as the main game.
The game is pretty cartoony looking, even more so than the goofy pirate cliche title screen and opening will portray. The card faces are all exaggerated nautical themed, with pirate men and women and even a few Dolphins wearing head rags. I quite enjoyed the light-hearted pirate nonsense but just know it’s all over the place here.
The pirate theme really permeates every corner of the game, to be honest. As you clear levels you get closer to buried treasure or moving your ship across the waters. In-between levels you’ll hear all the text read out in pirate speech, and even clearing a row of cards triggers some pirate nonsense.
Whenever you clear a row during a hand, a bunch of coins pop out and need to be collected by running your mouse over them before they disappear. I didn’t mind it at first but the coins vanish quickly and sometimes I was busy with a combo of cards and would have to stop to go and pick up these coins. For a nice relaxing casual game with no time limit this seemed a weird inclusion.
The other source of annoyance while playing where the occasional level where they tried to simulate using a flashlight to play. On these levels the light source was dim and centered on your mouse, so moving the mouse around moved the light. I suppose it was meant to make it a little more difficult but all it really did was aggravate and felt like a thorn in my side.
Aside from those two weird design choices I actually really enjoyed Pirate Solitaire. The cartoon pirate inspired look agreed with me and the game has that nice calm casual game vibe to it where you can just relax and enjoy yourself. If you don’t like pirates or cartoony graphics you probably will want to look elsewhere, but for the rest of us if you’re looking for a solitaire card game this one is worth checking out.