Best of Solitaire Review—The Best Solitaire
I always end up reviewing the card-based games for the Minis program, especially the solitaire ones. I can’t really complain much, since JeremyR always finds himself wondering why he is reviewing most of the shooters.
Speaking of JeremyR, on the morning of December 7, 2010, he commented on the Card Shark review with this statement:
And apparently the PSP is getting some sort of Solitaire collection from the makers of the greatest GBA game ever. (Ultimate Card Games by Cosmigo).
What a heads-up!
Among all of the solitaire games already released under the Minis program, only the aptly named 5 in 1 Solitaire by Digital Leisure could stand up against this one, mainly (but not entirely) because of one reason: sheer number of solitaire modes. Best of Solitaire contains 101 solitaire games galore!
Best of Solitaire is edgy and smooth, aside from being streamlined and modern. The menu features three sets of browsing options to help you avoid getting lost among all of these solitaires. There is a direct list of every single solitaire variant, and you can navigate through the list with the D-pad, skipping 10 at a time by using the shoulder buttons. You can press Square so that these solitaires are categorized according to family. And, you can always sort all of these solitaire variations alphabetically, by popularity, by times a variant was played, etc., etc. Additionally, you can press Select to see some stats, like how many times you played it, is it more of a luck-based game, etc. etc.
That I actually felt I had to share the menu navigation shows you the sheer number of solitaire variants. Admittedly, some of these variants are derivatives of others. Still, the ability to further configure the game during game time makes this collection of solitaire a must-buy. You can choose how many cards you can deal, how many redeals you allow, what card you allow in an empty tableau, largely depending on what solitaire variant you are tweaking. This multiplies the number of solitaire games you can exhaust out of this Mini.
I already mentioned 5 in 1 Solitaire as the only worthy opponent of this solitaire pack. The one clear advantage of 5 in 1 over this title is the ability to suspend all of your sessions for each variant and proceed later. In Best of Solitaire, you can only suspend one session, and the next session you open will overwrite the previous one.
Also, in Best of Solitaire, the instruction page of each variant is buried in the menu when you actually play the game. And, if you didn’t have prior knowledge of solitaire, you would have a hard time understanding the instructions. In contrast, 5 in 1 Solitaire does have a wonderful tutorial (the best in the business), because it actually demonstrates how the game is played.
In the aesthetics department, the music is all right, nothing to kill or die for. You can change the image on the back of the cards and the texture/photo of the background art, but those photos are not of high quality, not ugly, though, only underwhelming.
Best of Solitaire is equivalent to a deck of cards bought for the purpose of solitaire only (except for the fact that you can play this one while on a bus ride or on the toilet). You have lots of variants included in this package, not to mention the various tweaks you can implement. This is priced at $4.99/£4.99/€6.19, so compared to this crap which is priced at $3.99/£2.49/€2.99, you get a bargain!
This latest solitaire Mini may have a few flaws here and there, but the above-average quality and enormous quantity of included games make this game a must-buy whether you like to play solitaire or not. This is, without question, the solitaire that ends all solitaires . . . hopefully.