App Reviewed on: iPhone SE
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From the outside, Age of Solitaire looks like a game that blends something like Civilization with everyone's long-standing favorite solo card game. In actuality though, this card game is far more simple than that. It's a solid Solitaire experience, but its kingdom-building aspects act more like a screensaver that reacts to you winning than anything particularly substantive.
The core Solitaire action in Age of Solitaire is more or less the same as classic Klondike solitaire you can find on just about any computer. You have the same seven rows of cards, you still stack cards in descending order while alternating colors, and you still draw three to get more cards to work with. The only slight difference here is that you also have some powerups you can use like the ability to shuffle the cards, get a hint, or undo your last move.
As you play through your round of Solitaire a timer is running, which seems to be the main basis for determining your end score. If you happen to complete your game of Solitaire successfully, these points go into the construction of features on a piece of land on the upper half of the screen. These things start off simple enough, with you building Stone Age things like a fire or a village, and eventually you can build up to new ages and get things like Ferris wheels, castles, and bridges.
The world is flat
Once you build parts of your civilization, the only thing there is to do in Age of Solitaire is to start playing a new round in hopes of building the next thing. The world-building aspects of Age of Solitaire are completely cosmetic. You don't get to choose what you build, tapping on your structures doesn't do anything, and you don't seem to get any additional bonuses for the structures you have already built.
Everything built in Age of Solitaire just seems to be a monument to how many games you've won. There are things you can do in the game to increase your chances of winning, like watching an ad to drop down your draw count to one or tapping pop up presents that offer more powerups in exchange for ad-viewing, but otherwise, everything here is strictly Solitaire.
Age of ads
Speaking of ads, the free version of Age of Solitaire is lousy with them. Ads are on-screen at all times while playing, whole page ads pop-up between sessions with the game, and you can watch ads to earn consumable powerups.
For a single $1.99 purchase, you can remove ads from popping up on your screen, but this doesn't really address things relating to Age of Solitaire's consumable powerups. Those can only be earned through viewing ads, daily login bonuses, or by additional in-app purchase. It's a strange business model that makes buying the ad-free version feel like a bad value.
The bottom line
Age of Solitaire is a really hard game to recommend. It's a pretty game, but it's otherwise a version of Solitaire that is muddied with ads, consumable in-app purchases, and a relatively lifeless civilzation-building visual layer.