Solitaire had the advantage of being present on almost every office computer since 1993. There was no Internet to speak of in those days, so unless you had some really interesting distraction, you'd resort to playing the solo card game until the end hours of the work day. Solitaire remained with every incarnation of Windows and we can see it even today as a free Microsoft app. However, fans of retro software or nostalgia feeling folk, would not necessarily appreciate the subtle interface and graphical changes that have come to be included in the standard Solitaire experience.
Solitaire XP aims to bring back the classic Windows app. Not from its heyday, but from one of the most beloved versions of Windows ever: Windows XP. The clear outlines and right click function makes it the definitive way to play Solitaire.
If you're unfamiliar with Solitaire and in order to fill up this article with more text, here's a basic rundown of the game:
From a standard deck of cards, you are dealt seven stacks. The first stack consists of one card, the second has two cards and so on. You always reveal the top card of each stack. This is your workbench. The goal is to rearrange the cards back into four suits while cycling through the deck as few times as possible. As the suits must be arranged from 1 going up, the lowest numbered cards are a priority. However, in order to reveal what's underneath a card covering a stack, you will need to place that card on the next highest numbered card of the opposite color on a different stack, if not on its suit stack. To help you accomplish this, you may reveal cards from the leftover deck one at a time. Only the last revealed card may be usable, since cards are covered up as new ones are revealed.
You get points every time you reveal a new card from one of the 7 stacks, when you place a card from the deck onto one of your stacks and when you place a card onto the suit decks. Players will generally feel the urge to browse through the deck quickly in the hope of finding specific cards. However, every time the deck is depleted, you will lose a serious amount of points while the discard pile is turned face down to re-create the deck (no shuffling).
You do this until you finally succeed, or get stuck. There is a fair amount of luck in Solitaire, but that doesn't mean it's a mindless game. Working out probabilities and remembering the structure of the deck can help a long way in reaching a good score.
Solitaire features different play modes. One in which three cards are drawn at a time (but only the top one can be used), and the timed game (in which you lose points as the time progresses). These two can be combined if you wish.
- Standard Solitaire for Windows XP modes
- Multiple card back designs
I may have inadvertently spent a couple of hours getting reacquainted with Solitaire XP. This speaks volumes of how relaxing this game can be.