The noble art of solitaire has about two hundred years on every other casual game in existence. Matching sweets and sliding numbers around on a board are all very well, but when it comes to addictive casual gameplay, nothing beats the thrill of clearing cards.
Pyramid Solitaire: Ancient Egypt is the latest solitaire game to hit the app stores, and if you’re not familiar with the ‘pyramid’ variant, be warned: it comes with a brutal twist.
Whereas in classic solitaire the aim is to clear the cards from the board by getting them in sequence, here the goal is to clear the board by removing any two cards that add up to 13. A Jack is worth 11, a Queen is worth 12, and a King is worth 13, which means it’s the only kind of card you don’t need to find a mate for.
The cards are arranged in the shape of–yes, you guessed it–a pyramid, and you have to clear them from bottom to top, with the aid of the remaining cards in the deck, which are dealt in threes at the press of a button until they’re all gone, at which point the round is pretty much over.
The faster you match the cards, the higher your time bonus when you clear them all and finish the round. IF you finish the round.
Because the cards are arranged in a triangular formation, the number of possible matches gets smaller as you get closer to the top, making it incredibly difficult to clear even the first stage and raise the first pyramid, let alone the second or the third.
Fortunately, Pyramid Solitaire gives you a couple of helping hands. The first is that if you don’t manage to break into the top 10 it lets you roll your score over into the next game. The second is that if you don’t manage to clear all the cards you can buy your way into the next stage with an IAP.
This won’t be relevant to you most of the time, but we can see gamers on the brink of improbable stage 5 glory laying down a bit of cash to maintain their progress.
Either way, Pyramid Solitaire is a fun, colourful, hugely addictive take on the classic solitaire formula.
There’s also clearly been a lot of work put into its presentation, meaning it not only plays differently to most solitaire titles out there – but it looks different too. In a good way.