The version of Solitaire that we’re all familiar with, the one we’ve all wasted countless hours on while sitting at our Windows PCs, is called Klondike. That’s the classic version, but it’s not the best.
For our money, the most challenging and stimulating way to play Solitaire is FreeCell, and FreeCell Challenge is the best way to play it.
Developed by the entrepreneurs behind Solitaired – the vast card-sorting compendium that came out last year – FreeCell Challenge goes for depth rather than breadth, taking a single version of Solitaire and polishing it to a high sheen.
In case you’re not up on your card games, FreeCell sees you sorting cards into neat stacks by number and suit. To do this, you first need to arrange them into columns made of cards with alternating colors.
Unlike in Klondike, in FreeCell the entire deck is dealt at the beginning of the game, into eight random columns. Obviously, you can only get to the card on the top of each of these columns, so making matches is tricky.
In fact, it would be pretty much impossible to finish a game if you didn’t also have access to four cells, where you can temporarily store cards while juggling them around. The major challenge in FreeCell is to use these cells sparingly, and plan your moves with care.
While most Solitaire games are largely about the luck of the draw, FreeCell is almost entirely a game of skill. That’s why we love it.
Like Solitaired before it, FreeCell Challenge has an extra twist in the form of customizable decks.
Working with a variety of august institutions, including Encyclopedia Britannica and MIT, developers Darshan Somashekar and Neal Taparia have created a range of decks celebrating important figures and movements from history.
There’s a Women’s Hall of Fame deck, a Heroes of Space & Flight deck, a deck celebrating Notable Women in Computing, another celebrating the Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, a deck highlighting a few Inspiring Inventors, and more.
It’s a fabulous use of all that playing card real estate, and we’re excited to see what further themes crop up in future.
Play FreeCell Challenge for free right now online and on the Google Play Store.