If you’re a fan of Solitaire games you’ve no doubt come across Solitaired already. It’s a comprehensive compendium of Solitaire variants which came out last year, and is the final word in all things card-based. 

In fact, it was arguably too generous, packed as it was with more than 500 different ways to play Solitaire. So the team has decided to do some unpacking, and Spider Solitaire Challenge is the result. 

You may not be familiar with the rules of Spider Solitaire, so let us fill you in right now. The aim in Spider is to rearrange two shuffled decks into eight nice neat numerically ordered piles.

54 cards are dealt at the outset, across ten columns, with the top card in each column presented face-up. As ever, your goal is simply to put each card onto a card bearing the next number up – 2 goes on 3, 6 goes on 7, and so on. 

Whenever you run out of moves, or whenever you feel like it really, you can deal yourself ten more cards from the deck, and whenever you manage to put together a run from ace to king you clear those cards from the table. And that’s it.

Except that’s not it. You can play Spider Solitaire with a single suit, in which case it’s pretty easy, or you can play it with two suits, which makes it significantly more difficult. You can play it with all four suits, too, which is nigh-on impossible.

Why? Because you can only move a stack of cards if they’re all the same suit. You can have a stack containing diamonds and clubs, say, but that stack will be glued to the spot, preventing you from getting at the cards underneath. 

This twist utterly transforms Spider Solitaire, and makes it one of the most challenging and satisfying Solitaire variants going. 

As well as being a damn fine game, Spider Solitaire Challenge is also a tool of enlightenment thanks to a range of custom decks made in collaboration with MIT, Encyclopedia Britannica, and other brainy institutions. 

There’s a deck celebrating women in computing, another celebrating the heroes of the civil rights movement, another celebrating great inventors, and more. Plus, you can use a variety of classic Jones designs and the iconic Parrots.

Spider Solitaire Challenge is available for free right on the Google Play Store. You can also play it in your browser.