Solitaire is one of the most timeless card games ever. It’s easy to learn, it’s easy to master, half of the time your losses are chance, and a single game takes such little time you can always play one or two to kill some time.
But unfortunately, given the way the smartphone game market operates, almost any solitaire app is littered with ads. Banner ads are one thing, but full screen ads constantly pop up in nearly all Solitaire phone games, killing a huge part of the enjoyment.
On the flip side, I also think playing Solitaire with a physical deck of cards is cumbersome, requires ample table space, and takes too long to set up. For my money, or more accurately my time, the best way to play is classic desktop versions.
As a kid, I remembered every PC always had Solitaire installed, something that is sorely missed now. Thankfully, with Adobe Flash and HTML based game sites like one I played through this week, Solitaire.org, it’s still just as easy as ever to enjoy a few rounds.
First and foremost, Solitaire.org doesn’t run ads, and because of the simplicity of the flash and HTML games, any computer runs them flawlessly.
The website opens with a basic Klondike solitaire, which is fine, but clicking on the Klondike tab begins a much better version that allows standard 3-card draws as well as single card draws as an easy mode.
While scrolling down shows all the versions available for each game type, I wish some of the accessibility features (double clicking for fast move, auto-completes, etc.) were universal between each version. Thankfully with such a large library of similar titles, I was always able to find something that fit my playstyle.
Another gripe about Solitaire as a phone app is the lack of modes. Most of these apps only have Klondike, which is fun, but sometimes you just need a change of pace to avoid the “this is pointless” feeling. Going back to Solitaire.org, they have such a wide variety of versions like Spider Solitaire, Tripeaks, Free Cell and my personal favorite Pyramid, which is less of a Solitaire and more of a basic arithmetic game.
Oddly enough, the user interface of a few games didn’t make full use of the screen, so I looked up a couple and realized that there are phone apps on Solitaire.org with the huge exception that there’s no ads, no monetization of any kind. While something as simple as Zero 21 isn’t mindblowing, it’s an incredibly fun, solid and speedy timekiller that benefits immensely from the omission of ads popping up every three levels.