Game Review #176: Klondike Solitaire (Nintendo Switch)
Reviewer: Bradford “TheWaffinator87” Ekstrom
Developer: Baltoro Games
Publisher: Baltoro Games
Category: Board Game, Strategy, Adventure, Puzzle
Release Date: 3.1.2019
Price (At time of Review): $3.99 discounted/ $8.99 normally
Buy Klondike Solitaire from the Nintendo eShop here.
Do you remember? Bradford remembers
Anyone reading this remember the glorious days of dial up internet and good old AOL? I do. I ask this because I lived in a household of four. My mother, two younger sisters and myself. Let’s see how many people can relate to this. That’s what makes the gaming community such a wonderful thing, we all somehow can connect or relate to almost anyone’s story. Actually, if anyone is reading this, I bet you are asking yourself why I am even bringing this up in relation to a game review about a Solitaire game. Don’t worry, we are going to get there with a quick trip down memory lane, Bradford’s awful memory lane.
*Cue wavy back and forth motions with going back in thought music*
So, as I was saying, I am the oldest with two younger sisters. We are all two years apart. I just turned 32, my middle sister is about to turn 30, and then the youngest will be 28 later this year. Look at that! I am sharing information about my life with all of you lovely people, and sharing is caring, right? Anyway, back to the interesting story. Because we are so close in age, I bet you can imagine how well we liked having to share the one computer to chit chat with our friends on AIM, or make silly profiles with Myspace, or download music with Napster, and Limewire. In fact, we shared so well that my mother all gave us a 2-hour limit per day that we could use all in one sitting or use in bits and pieces. I, on the other hand, being smarter than the average bear, found a loophole to manipulate my usage of the computer.
Y’all remember the pre-installed classic games that came on most windows computers? That’s right, I am talking about that weird-yet-basic pinball game Space Cadet, Minesweeper, and SOLITAIRE!
See? See? I am making the connection. We are almost there! Well, when mother made the stipulation of 2-hour limits, the timer lock only kicked us of from online. So, if my sisters were being annoying and getting on my nerves, right as I got the about to get kicked offline warning I would start a game of Solitaire. And because I was already on the computer, my mother would let me finish the game before I had to give up the computer, and you can bet your sweet behinds that I took my time just to annoy them back. So, as I sit here and very addictively play Klondike Solitaire from Baltoro Games, even though it is on the Switch and a different game, it brings back a lot of memories.
Now, just as the name says, Klondike Solitaire, that is exactly what you get. That is the only form of Solitaire in this game. So, don’t bother looking for like Spider Solitaire or Free Cell, or Pyramid. What you see is what you get. Don’t worry, you get some customization options, but I will talk about them more in the Audio/Visual section, because it fits in there a little bit better. As for types of game modes, you can choose between either CLASSIC SCORING or VEGAS SCORING, and you can choose between SINGLE DRAW (where it draws one card at a time from top deck) or 3 CARD DRAW (where it draws 3 cards at a time from top deck making it more challenging). Now, Let’s go talk about them controls.
The controls were basically the same set up as almost every Solitaire-style game I have ever played, so that was very nice. It is amazing when you can pick up a game and play it like you have been playing the game all along. You have the Left Thumbstick to move the cursor, as well as the D-Pad. The A Button will allow you to confirm and grab the card you seek to move, and again to drop the card where you like. Once you get to the Aces and start putting cards in their final order, you can double click the A Button really quickly to move and relocate the cards at a faster pace.
If you are like me and like to go as fast as possible, and like to set personal best time records, instead of using the A Button to flip the top cards or cards of the deck, you can tap the R bumper and it will draw the next card or cards for you. The quicker you press the button, the faster it draws for you. Going so fast that you make a slight boo boo and want to reset you LAST move? Don’t worry, just give the good old Y Button a nice tap to get one reset. Let’s do a quick recap;
Move Cursor - Left Thumbstick/D-Pad.
Pick Up Card/Confirm Placement - A Button.
Move Cards to Final Location Quicker - Double Tap A Button.
Draw Cards From Top of Deck - R Bumper
Reset LAST Move - Y Button
Now let’s chit chat about the pimping of your Solitaire experience.
Hey yo Xzibit! Pimp my Solitaire!
Although Klondike Solitaire isn’t the most visually appealing Solitaire game I have personally played, it isn’t the worst either. As you play and successfully complete, you will gain experience points and level up. As you level up, you unlock rewards that you can use to customize a few things. You can customize the FACE of the card, the BACK DESIGN, you can unlock new TABLE designs, and 15+ background songs, which is good, because if you get hooked like I was, listening to the same song or beat would be a total mood killer. The background songs that you can choose from are more in the mindset of trying to just chill, relax, and have some fun. It’s kind of like something you might hear in a happy musical or orchestra. And even though that kind of music isn’t my cup of tea, I did find it very pleasing and relaxing.
That’s a Wrap
This game is really a good choice if you want a break and want to play something more on the mellow side, or even if you are short on time and need to feed your gaming addiction; because a typical game, if you go at a decent pace, can be as quick as maybe five minutes for a round. I am most likely going to keep this game in my library, because I really enjoy Solitaire, or even card games in general. The only negative thing I really found with the game is the lack of making it stand out compared to other Solitaire games—no real “wow” factor. It was just another basic Solitaire mock game. Such an easy fix too. Could have added some visual effects at the end of the round showing celebration, or adding game modes that aren’t typically in a Solitaire game. Heck, I thought of two different-style game modes that could’ve easily made the game slightly more interesting in literally 60 seconds:
RACE THE CLOCK, where you are trying to get times to place you either in Bronze, Silver, or Gold, and maybe even Platinum for insane completion times, and have the records post online for those who like to compete.
HARDCORE MODE, where you are trying to complete the round in so many moves, and resets count as two moves. You will either complete the round or fail. That would give a challenge to those who want to spice it up a bit.
See? Nothing dramatic, but it’s the little things that could make it stand out a little more, especially when making a popular game that has been made countless times. But hey, for the price point and the slightly good customization options you have, this game, overall, is not too shabby and may be worth adding to your collection.
Buy Klondike Solitaire from the Nintendo eShop here.
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*Review Code Provided by Baltoro Games