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iPad  header logo

Fairway Solitaire Blast

For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Blasting pit

Product: Fairway Solitaire Blast | Publisher: Big Fish Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Card/ board game, Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Fairway Solitaire Blast iPad, thumbnail 1
For the first 20 minutes or so I was really enjoying Fairway Solitaire Blast. It's a neat riff on the mechanics of the original, with a twist here and an layer of polish there.

You're matching cards to clear them from a golf themed screen, deciding whether to lay a 6 or an 8 on a 7, for example.

Those first 20 minutes aren't exactly mind blowing stuff, but there's a neat bounce to the play that leaves you with an arcade-induced smile on your face.

And then things go downhill fast. The game is basically about the random placement of cards, in a deck in your hand, and on piles on the fairway.

But somehow around level 6 things become impossibly tough. You're trying to beat a score, and make sure all the cards are cleared, and things stop being fun and start being a downright drag.

How the worm has turned, and been chased by a golf ball

If you were of a cynical bent you might think that this sudden difficulty spike being jabbed in your ribs might have something to do with the game's shift to a more pervasive free-to-play structure.

You only have five retries, and while they regenerate over time, you'll chew through them in no time when you hit a hard level. So your best bet if you want to keep pushing on is to pay some cash.

Or you could use a joker card. These are wild, and let you place any card you want on them. Except if you don't have any you have to buy them, directly from the play space, for some real-life money.

IAPs explained
There are loads. Basically, if it's in the game, you can pay money for it.

You can refill your lives for 69p / 99c, buy new joker cards for £2.49 / $3.99, buy extra courses, and all manner of power-ups and other stuff.

You shouldn't, though, because it's all too expensive and the game's not very good.
It all feels grubby and sullies what was a reasonably entertaining slice of quick-fire gaming.

The new additions, which are all basically explosive cards that clear other cards horizontally, vertically, or the ones surrounding the bomb itself, make for some interesting new tactics, and there's a solid beat to the tap-tap play that builds compulsion.

It'd be better if I had some golf bats to swing at the critters with

But that compulsion gets beaten out of the door by an IAP system that stands in front of the fun and gives you the option of a miserable grind or paying a few pounds.

The end result is that you'll probably just stop playing. There are games on the App Store and Google Play that offer the same level of entertainment without pushing you over every now and then to wipe your face in the mud.

You're probably better off playing one of those instead.
Fairway Solitaire Blast
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 4 April 2014
An occasionally bright game that's beaten into submission by difficulty spikes and shouty IAPs
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