Before we matched sweets for fun we used to get our casual kicks from arranging playing cards in the ubiquitous, hyper-addictive game of solitaire. Now that technology has made a billion types of casual game possible, a glance at the App Store proves that solitaire is still king.
The latest addition to this bulging category is Pyramid Solitaire: Ancient Egypt, a seemingly familiar card-based casual game with a twist.
You know how to play solitaire. It involves dealing the cards out randomly into set rows and then clearing them by suit and value until they’re all in the right order. Basically, it’s a very fun way of tidying up.
Match like an Egyptian
Pyramid Solitaire is different. Here the only way to clear cards is to make pairs that add up to 13 (e.g. a 6 and a 7, or a 9 and a 4, or… you get the picture). The Jack is worth 11 and the Queen is worth 12. Aces are low, and the King is worth 13, meaning you can clear it on its own.
As you’ve probably guessed, the cards are arranged into a 2D pyramid, and you have to clear them from bottom to top. You can deal the remaining cards from the deck in threes to give you extra matching options, but once you’ve gone through the deck once the round is over.
While for safety reasons we would never recommend rushing a game of solitaire, it pays to clear the cards quickly because you get a time bonus at the end of the round.
Pyramid Solitaire – a match made in heaven
If, that is, you reach the end of the round, and most of the time you won’t. Because Pyramid Solitaire sees you working your way up the pyramid from the bottom, the number of possible matches gets smaller and smaller as you progress. Finishing the first round feels like a real achievement.
Of course, there’s help at hand. If you don’t do well enough to earn a top 10 score in one round, the game helpfully rolls your points over to the next. Plus, if you’re frustrated not to have finished a round you can always buy your way into the next one with an IAP.
Pyramid Solitaire is an incredibly addictive, challenging take on the card-shuffling casual classic. It also benefits from some nifty design work so that it looks different to every other card title out there.