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Platinum Solitaire 2

For: Mobile

Fun, with just one

Product: Platinum Solitaire 2 | Developer: Platinum Software | Publisher: Gameloft | Format: Mobile | Genre: Card/ board game | Players: 1 | Format: J2ME | File size: 787KB | Version: Europe
Platinum Solitaire 2 Mobile, thumbnail 1
How can you possibly reinvent solitaire? Developers generally aim to make it worth your while when striking out with games we've been playing, quite happily, for centuries. Simply serving up straight solitaire, with no added extra knobs and bobs wouldn't exactly do when it's possible to buy a pack of cards for a pound and still have plenty of change. Three years ago, Gameloft sidestepped this minefield by packing in four versions of solitaire in one game to give it that extra spark.

A few years on, the studio has tied in another eight to the package, bringing the total to an attention grabbing 12 – 12 unique takes on one game. Yes, Platinum Solitaire 2's solitaire is far from solitary, and the end result is a package that serves as an excellent card fix for those who like to go solo.

There's plenty of longevity on offer, too, with both a quick play mode – allowing you to get to grips with each of the different flavours of solitaire by throwing in a handy and comprehensive tutorial mode that schools in the basics – and a full career, where winning isn't the sole goal.

In World Tour, you travel from casino to casino across the globe, trying out your wares at the various versions of solitaire on offer. However, rather than being charged with winning – which, let's face it, is often down to the run of the cards and nothing more – you bet money on whether you can achieve certain aims, such as matching a number of pairs or clearing a set number of cards from the board.

Coupled with the fact that certain 'achievements' (clearing a set number of cards before touching the deck, for instance) also wins you stacks of cash, it's fairly clear that making things unnecessarily difficult isn't Platinum Solitaire 2's aim.

Starting out with $2,000, initial gains to your bank balance come fairly easily and the early stages pass without fuss, whether you actually win the matches or not. Each of the cities also comes with its own set recipe of the various forms of solitaire (golf, empire, monaco, freecell, deck, pyramid, yukon, guards collar, flower garden, spider and black hole all making the line-up), meaning it's never just a case of playing the same old game every time.

Indeed, though Platinum can't take the credit, the 12 variants on offer are so wide, so diverse, that mastering one game doesn't mean you'll have the beating of the next. Some are literally a case of matching up pairs sat in a grid or attempting to pair up cards that add up to 13, while others stick a little closer to the original formula, requiring you to reorder the deck by suit and rank.

Whatever the class, one constant is the ease of control. Your fingers need never stray from the standard directional number keys ('4' and '6' for left and right, '2' and '8' for up and down), with the '5' key acting as the action key. There's also the option of prompting the game for a hint if you get stuck with the '*' key, though be aware: rather than making a suggestion about what move you should make, it simply shows you any moves you could make, meaning you can spend hours moving cards back and forth again on Platinum's recommendation without actually achieving anything.

That aside, it's hard to fault Platinum Software's second stab at bringing the numerous shades of solitaire to the mobile and, while you can never escape the fact that this is only solitaire (all the avatars and sparkling trips to casinos around the globe can't change that), for what it is and what it does, it doesn't get much more accomplished than this. Sometimes adding a bit of extra bang for your buck pays off, casino style.
Platinum Solitaire 2
Reviewer photo
Keith Andrew | 2 February 2009
For a game about solitaire, Platinum Solitaire 2 is far from lonely, packed full with a mammoth 12 takes on the famous card game. Luckily for us, each one is handled with care, easy to control and - most of all - full of fun
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