Developer: ELECTRIC OYSTER
Price: $1.99
Version Reviewed: 1.5
Device Reviewed On: iPod Touch

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

How many solitaire games do you have on your iPhone? Well, Solitaire Classics, from Electric Oyster, wants to entice you with their take, recently optimized for iPhone 4, on this cherished computer favorite. They offer a straightforward solitaire game that doesn’t innovate, but certainly aims to impress with a photorealistic look.

Solitaire Classics delivers three of the most popular computer solitaire varieties, including Klondike in both easy (draw one) and hard (draw three); Freecell, in only a single difficulty mode; and Spider in both easy (one suit) and hard (all suits). There’s also an unlockable bonus game. It’s enough variety to keep players satisfied.

Game play itself flows about how you’d expect a solitaire game to play. You move cards by touching and dragging them, or tapping playable cards to move them into place. You can zoom in and out as needed by double-tapping and move around the screen, which is definitely helpful when stacks get too long to fit on the screen. It all works just fine. Basic touch solitaire is pretty hard to mess up!

I will say that game play in Solitaire Classics is perhaps a little too stripped down. There’s no Undo button, for example, which seemed an odd omission. There’s no hint system, either, which is not necessarily standard on solitaire games but always welcome. Neither of these are major omissions, but it would be nice to see them in a future update.

Since there’s no real innovation in games or gameplay, Solitaire Classics invests all it’s real effort into presentation. They went photorealistic, with authentic playing cards, a wooden tabletop, and a yellowed, aged look. The menus and rules are even done up in this realistic style, made to look like penned-in notebook pages. It all looks really good, and its the one thing that’s going to distinguish this solitaire game from the other solitaire games out there. Their commitment to realism is such that they even offer a Shadow Mode, which places a shadow silhouette head across the playing table. It’s a pointless but amusing touch.

If you’re looking for a playable solitaire game with the most popular varieties, then you could do much worse than Solitaire Classics. It doesn’t do anything new with the genre, but its realistic presentation is really appealing. It’s worth look.

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