Developer: Candywriter
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.4
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 4

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

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Solitaire is (probably) as old as time. It’s seemingly been on every PC ever and I suspect more hours have been pumped into it than any other game, even scary big MMOs. So just how do you mix it up to make it new and exciting once more? Simple. Add a word game to it.

Word Solitaire: Aurora does exactly that. Following the traditional solitaire route, instead of matching up relevant cards, instead you have to create words. Each card offers a letter and it’s down to you to make the best words from the selection. Using a similar scoring system to Scrabble, the ‘harder’ letters like J and X offer more points so it’s in your interest to create more complex words than simple three or four letter combos. At times it really makes your brain tick and it’s a refreshing change of pace from the usual solitaire game.

A campaign mode offers 250 levels each of which gradually increasing in difficulty. Amongst these levels are Milestone levels which focus on specific letters of the alphabet and offer a varied challenge. There’s also a quick play mode with a wealth of options if you prefer just diving in briefly. More intriguingly is the daily puzzle mode whereby you can compete with other people across a global leaderboard. This is the mode you’ll find yourself returning to regularly. After all, who can resist that moment of fame, topping the leaderboard?

In my case I suck at creating words and am distinctly mediocre at all word games, but I do enjoy it. Word Solitaire: Aurora is certainly great fun providing a great twist on the solitaire format. Including so many great social tools such as the daily puzzle, leaderboards and achievements just makes for icing on the cake. It’s the kind of game that you’ll find yourself playing obsessively at first, but even after the initial excitement has gone, you’ll still be returning to it daily for the next challenge.

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