Solitaire Zero Review

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Title: Solitaire Zero
Developer: MairCODE
Game Type: PlayStation Mobile
Download: 7 MB
NA Availability: 
Digital Download 

EU Availability: Currently Unavailable
PSTV Support: No

There are a lot of simple, basic games that people used to play and still do at times that maintain value for those times when you’re bored and don’t have anything to do.  Card games is one of those genres.  I’m not talking about Trading Card Games like Yu-Gi-Oh or Magic the Gathering.  I’m talking about old-school card games where you have a deck of cards and just have a simple game.

While many card games require more than one person to be playing, some card games have digital forms that were just single player games.  Think back to the earlier days of the Windows computers.  There were a lot of simple games on those PCs that you could play just for a bit of fun.  Minesweeper.  Pinball.  But one thing that always stuck with me was Windows Solitaire.

Thanks to PlayStation Mobile, Windows Solitaire is reborn on the PlayStation Vita.  In an attempt to mimick the old Windows game, a PSM developer has brought the classic card game to the handheld world, with more on the way.  Taking a look back on the past with this new release, I present my official review of Solitaire Zero!

Story

Due to this game not having any sort of plot or story, this section shall be blank

Gameplay

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Solitaire is a game of building and order.  The actual card game has you searching for cards so you can put each suit in order of the codes to get them out of your deck as well as the table to win the game.  This is a pretty basic version of Solitaire.  On the game board you have your deck that you can draw cards from.  You also have the cards on the table in rows, with some showing face up and some hidden that you have to move cards to reveal.  You then have four slots on the left to place the cards to get rid of them to win the game.

The object is for all of the slots on the left hand side to contain each suit of card, in order.  The order of cards goes as follows: Ace, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. 8. 9. 10, Jack, Queen, King.  The goal is to have every suit in a slot in that order.  Get all of the cards over there in all four slots and you will win the game.  Whether you can get them all over there, quickly or not is another situation.

The idea is to uncover the cards you need.  To do this, you have to move cards around to reveal other cards.  The way cards can be moved in in the reverse order of what we said above.  Maybe you need the 4 of Hearts on the left side, but there are cards in the way.  You have to move those cards around to be able to get to it.  Moving cards is trickier.  Cards can be in reverse order but also must be in reverse color.  You can move a 2 of Spades over under a 3 of Clover.  It has to be Black, Red, Black, Red on the game board.

The difficulty comes in play with how much you have to do to get these numbers moved around.  You may have to cycle through the entire deck of cards to find something to move to eventually reveal the card you need.  It’s all about looking and the strategy of what needs to go where.  There is a solution to every game and even if you get stumped, you just have to look at all of your options to move things around until you can win.

The difficulty isn’t as high as you might think in this version of Solitaire, though.  This game allows you to cycle through the deck as many times as you want until you find what you’re looking for.  It also allows you to not only undo moves but give you hints on what can go where.  So, if you get stumped, just tap the Hint button and the game will show you what you can do next.  It won’t do the game for you, but just meant to show little lines of what can go where if you get stumped.

When you win the game, you will be given your time as well as your score.  This can go into your own personal Stats to show how many wins you have, what your scores were, as well as what date and time those scores went into effect.

If you’ve never played Solitaire before, however, there is a difficulty in the fact that the game doesn’t tell you how to play the game.  When you go into Solitaire Zero, it assumes you know every rule of the game already.  So, if you’re a newbie to this card game, you’ll need to look up the rules on your own, as there is no tutorial in the game and there is no section where you can read the rules of the game.

All in all, it’s a pretty basic game.  While it has some options for how the game looks, it’s just a basic Solitaire game, much like the old Windows Solitaire was.  A single game could last as short as 10 minutes or could be hours, depending on how skilled you are and how well of a hand you are dealt when you play the game.

Controls

The controls for Solitaire Zero are simple since they are strictly based on the touch screen.  You won’t be pressing a single button on the PS Vita when you play the game, even to pause your current game.  Everything is controlled by the touch screen.  You will be tapping the screen to choose options and dragging cards around with the sliding and finger gestures on the screen.  As you may guess from the lack of button controls, this game is not compatible with the PlayStation TV.

The one thing to note about the controls is that they aren’t entirely accurate the entire time you’re playing the game.  I had many situations where I tried to slide my finger when I drew 3 cards from the deck and nothing happened.  I had to reposition my finger a few times to get it to recognize my input.  This didn’t happen often, but it happened a few times each game I played.

Presentation

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The presentation of the game isn’t bad, but does have its points where it is lacking.  The visual presentation is something is does well at.  While there aren’t a lot of options for backgrounds and card types, the visuals look crisp and smooth.  All of the cards have a lot of detail and the renders in the game look pretty much flawless.  I couldn’t find a single jagged edge on the models as I played through the game.

One thing I did notice about the game is that there is no music at all.  While this may have been intentional, you will not hear one bit of music as you play through Solitaire.  No calm music.  No relaxing music.  The only thing that you will hear are constant clicks as you move cards around (which you can mute).  While it isn’t terrible to not have music in this game, it’s not good either.  Even the PS Mini Monopoly has some soothing music to keep your attention as you play through the game.  Solitaire Zero is a big bundle of silence.

Summary

Solitaire Zero is: Decent.
Solitaire Zero isn’t a bad fix if you’re looking for classic Windows Solitaire on your PS Vita.  On the downside the game doesn’t tell you how to play the game, has no background music, and the touch controls are glitchy at times.  Past that, though, is a simple Solitaire game that is sure to keep card game fans’ attention for a good while.

7/10

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