One of the first Windows-based computer games I played was Golf solitaire. I can’t figure out how such a simple game could be so addicting even years later. I bore easily with repetition, but not with Golf. And the game has received some amazing interpretation into adventures including Faerie Solitaire.
The story told in Adventure mode makes little sense even though the game delivers most of it in small bites. So I won’t even go into what it’s about. I’m not sure myself. But the game more than makes up for it.
First, here how the Golf solitaire works: You take cards off the table that are one up or one down from the card in the pile. So if your pile card shows a king. You look for any open aces or queens (they can’t have a card on top of them). Let’s say you find an ace, put that on top of the king.
Now you need either a king or two. Keep taking cards off the foundation until you have no more moves. Then take another card from the stock pile and repeat. Clear the table for a perfect game, a goal you’ll need to reach in order to move on in some levels.
Every level consists of nine rounds of solitaire and has its own goals. You need to reach those goals by the time you finish the nine games. If not, you’ll replay the level. Otherwise, you move on to the next location (it’s that story thing again). Goals can be X number of perfect games, X amount of cash, fill purple meter within X minutes or make X moves in a row (without taking a card from the stock pile). You get cash for every play you make.
Of course, you’ll have power ups and barriers to keep Faerie Solitaire — but not so much that it becomes a confusing mess. Every now and then you’ll get a bonus card between 1 and 10. You can use these cards like you do when you take a new card from the stock pile except these won’t restart your “moves in a row” number so use these cards wisely.
Some columns won’t budge because they’re locked in by a thorn. To unlock the thorn column, you need to clear out the column that has a rose over it. Same goes for frozen cards. You need to clear the cards in front of the fiery one so you can use it to melt the frozen cards, which are always face down.
When you clear a column, you might find a surprise. It could be an egg or one of three elements that you need to evolve your new pet. Eggs appear randomly throughout the game. Finishing Adventure mode won’t ensure you find all the eggs. That’s where the replay value comes in. You’ll want to replay the different modes so you can uncover more eggs.
You can buy special power ups from Faerie Land and visit the Hatchery to hatch your found eggs. Once hatched, the creatures are babies. Each creature has a required amount of elements you need to collect to be able to evolve them. The creatures on the lower end require fewer elements than those on the higher end. It’s not clear what it takes to evolve a creature because I’ve collected the things it needs, but it’s not evolved right away. Nonetheless, it’s still a fun and cool feature.
Special power ups give you another undo (undo the last move), help your pets evolve faster, see the next card in the deck, reveal more cards on the table and so on.
I never once replay a level in Adventure mode. It was a breeze for the most part. The hard part doesn’t come in until near the end and when you unlock and play the five challenge levels. Now those called for a lot of replay until I could beat them. You can also replay any level.
The game had one annoying bug that comes and goes. When you start a new level, it needs to give you the objectives. Sometimes it pops up on the screen before you play and others nothing happen. You can always access the objectives by going to the menu. The game should let you view the objectives without leaving the game.
This is not a lazy game. Golf solitaire requires some planning ahead. Faerie Solitaire with its added barriers and extras calls for more strategy than a basic game of Golf. Although the graphics aren’t impressive and the story pointless, the game had me hooked for the entire weekend and it’s become one of my favorite solitaire games. I still want to play because I want to find the rest of the eggs. But beyond that, I’ll have to move on to another game — but that’s part of a reviewer’s job.