Solitaire by Backflip Review
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Solitaire by Backflip Review

Our Review by Rob Rich on August 24th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: ACES!
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Backflip Studios' take on the virtually timeless classic may just be the best iOS iteration yet, and it's free!

Developer: Backflip Studios
Price: Free
Version: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Playtime Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar

How does someone go about making Solitaire more interesting? I don't mean to imply that it's no fun, because it's been enjoyed by... billions, probably. For quite some time. It's just that, in order to get noticed among all the other iOS iterations out there, a developer would have to figure out a way to stand out. And in order to do that, they'd have to jazz it up a bit.

Anyone who's played Solitaire at any point in their life ever will be instantly familiar with Solitaire by Backflip. It includes both the regular and Vegas versions of the game, as well as one and three card draw rules, so players shouldn't have a problem finding one they're most comfortable with. For me it's the standard, three card rules.

The jazziness comes into play with Backflip's presentation. The visuals are nice and colorful, if a bit standard. But then, there are only so many ways to depict playing cards on a green table, right? Of course it's also possible to buy new themes (and even cheats) with coins earned through play. Those coins make up the other half of the stellar presentation. There's just something instinctively pleasant about placing a card and seeing a small shower of coins erupt from the counter at the bottom of the screen. These coins are carried over from game to game, so even losses are still worth something.

I did come across a little slowdown, most likely thanks to the ads, but those can be turned off with an in-app purchase (naturally). A more persistent problem I've encountered is the failure of the app to recognize my intended finger placement. It's never caused serious problems, save the occasional pop-up asking me if I wanted to cheat because the game thought I was attempting to do something I very much wasn't, but it's there and it's mildly annoying at times.

Solitaire by Backflip just does Solitaire, and even freemium, right. The sights and sounds make each game satisfying, and the constant acquisition of coins more-or-less removes the sting of constant losses. The deluge of coinage that pours out when a game is one and Auto Complete is pressed doesn't hurt either. Sure it's possible to pay real money for more coins, but in all honesty it doesn't take too terribly long to earn them. It's 10,000 to buy a theme, but after a mere hour or two of play I'd already amassed close to three grand. This is one freemium title that doesn't punish the cheap.

iPhone Screenshots

(click to enlarge)

Solitaire by Backflip screenshot 1 Solitaire by Backflip screenshot 2 Solitaire by Backflip screenshot 3 Solitaire by Backflip screenshot 4 Solitaire by Backflip screenshot 5
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