Nintendo’s digital stores have given us plenty of titles based on old-fashioned games of cards, for those who no longer play with real decks or other people. The thing about solitaire, or course, is that it’s a card game for just one player, and anyone’s who owned a Windows PC in the last 15 years is likely to have played it for free at some point. Now it’s possible to partake of this particular game on 3DS with some snazzy stereoscopic visuals, courtesy of 3D Solitaire from Zen Studios.
This title is available at a budget price, and it’s immediately apparent why that is the case. We’ll get to the minor pieces of filler content, but at its core this is a simple, bare-bones game of Solitaire. You have the option to play either Klondike 1 or Klondike 3, with the number representing how many cards are drawn at once: the former is ideal for an easier game. You probably know the rest.
It’s a reasonable distraction, as anyone who’s dabbled with it on another platform may agree, and Zen Studios has embellished it with a few touches in an effort to make it worth a purchase. The 3D aspect comes from the background displayed on the top screen, with one immediately available and two more, plus the ability to use one of your own photos, available as unlockables. They’re easy on the eye and actually show off some impressive depth, adding a much needed touch of style. Unlocking them is really about accumulating points in a successful round, so accessing them all will take a bit of skill and speed.
There are two control options on offer, one allowing you to drag and drop cards on the touch screen; this relegates the 3D screen to irrelevance. In truth the touch controls seemed a tad sloppy, with the occasional moment where our inputs weren’t being picked up right away: it’s only a minor issue, but it’s there. The other option is to have the game on the top screen and use the D-Pad or Circle Pad to manoeuvre a hand to pick up cards. We preferred this option as the controls were responsive and precise, even though it takes longer to move a virtual hand than to tap and drag the stylus, and this also meant the cards and subtle animations were positioned over the 3D background. It’s a simple preference, but it was easily the more aesthetically pleasing option.
In the case of 3D Solitaire, the title really does say it all. It’s the well-known single player card game with some minor embellishments and pretty 3D backgrounds. Apart from the occasional input issue with the stylus control option, it serves its purpose with a touch of style but no substantial creativity or reimagining of solitaire. If you like this particular game and absolutely have to play it on your 3DS, then this will do the trick.