I’ve always been a fan of solitaire. As a teen, I spent MANY hours with a deck of cards, playing “Klondike” solitaire and a version of double-deck solitaire that my aunt taught me. Something about dealing out those cards on the table, knowing it was all down to chance…
I’ve played a fair amount of desktop solitaire too because solitaire was free with pretty much every Windows computer since the beginning of time and when you were a bored, it was easy enough to launch the game and click through the cards.
When I heard about the basic premise of The Solitaire Conspiracy, that the gameplay was essentially modified games of solitaire, I put it on my Steam wishlist. During the winter sale 2020, I decided to buy it and I finally gave it a try last week.
If you like solitaire, I think you will enjoy this little game. It has all the basic rules that you know – you need to stack the cards, starting with the Ace and up to the King. To access buried cards, you have to move the others around the board, but you can only place cards on top of cards with a higher value. What makes Solitaire Conspiracy different from Microsoft Solitaire is the special powers some of the decks have.
The plot of the game revolves around your secret agency trying to thwart a trickster spy who is running amuck around the globe. Each game of solitaire you play signifies a field mission your team is running in an attempt to stop them. The suits of cards represent different teams and each one has a different specialty. Some explode a stack of cards, helping you unearth buried treasures, others pull cards to the top…or push them to the bottom. Using the best way to take advantage of these powers is the key to the game.
I’ve been playing in the challenge mode which limits my number of movements and it has been a lot of fun. There have only been a few levels that I got stuck on and had to run through a few times. Sometimes I am down to the last card left and it made for an intense final move (probably because the soundtrack adds a lot to the mood).
The game is relatively short (though I haven’t completed it yet, but it’s in the title – a bithell short) but there is a lot of replayablility with the challenge mods – a time challenge to see how quickly you can stack up cards and a skirmish challenge that lets you pick which decks you start with.
The game retails on Steam for $11.99 and I picked it up on sale for less than $10 which feels like a solid price for an indie game with such a unique premise. It appears that it has enough of a following that Bithell Games is going to continue to release updates with new decks and challenges so it will keep on giving well into 2021. If you’re a fan of solitaire but want to spice things up a bit, this game is a nice one to have on hand for when you just need something quick to play.