Solitaire has been around since the end of the 18th century, and there are so many forms of it beyond the well known Klondike layout. With that said, there really hasn’t been much change to the age old single player card games, at least until today. Pair Solitaire is a brand new take on solo card games that relies on matching cards in attempt to clear the whole deck of 52 cards. You can make matches based off suit, or rank as long as the cards are one apart. That means you can match two sevens, or two clubs if another card is in between those pairs.
It’s a relatively simple mechanic to let anyone get playing in an instant. With that said, there’s a surprising amount of strategy to contend with since all 52 cards are laid out in a straight line. Every single move you make will have an impact later on, because every card you remove takes away one potential match. You need to think a few moves ahead, and how the line of cards will condense with each card that is removed. You will often have a couple of matches to work with, but you need to see how removing either match could lead to other matches. The line of cards keeps shifting inwards, so a match might have two cards in between, but a properly timed removal can lead to one card in between, and an all new match.
It’s a thoroughly engaging concept that keeps your mind completely occupied in removing the cards in the best way you can see. Your score is based on how many cards are left over of the 52 you begin with, combined with the rank of the cards you do remove. The game keeps you compelled to better your score, and try to get rid of all 52 of those cards. Not only that, but you can change your strategy based on which end of the line of cards you start with, or choose to go in the middle, or by whatever matches you find. It’s a new layout each time to keep the challenge fresh, and you keep figuring out new ways or removing the chain of cards at just the right time. Also, only a portion of the cards are available on screen at once, which makes scrolling important to see how future moves will line up.
There’s also a great deal of polish in Pair Solitaire with the design of the cards, and flow of the line of cards. You can play in landscape, or portrait with the same scrolling card interface, just designed for how you want to play. The game also includes an undo button, which is quite handy since one wrong match can derail an entire run. Pair Solitaire is completely free to fully enjoy, and there’s also a one-time $0.99 in-app purchase to unlock a daily challenge mode, and new card decks. It’s a no brainer for $1 to get a new reason to come back each day, as well as a new look, and to support the outstanding developers.
Pair Solitaire (Free, Universal) is an outstanding idea executed perfectly to make it an absolute must have iOS experience. It’s not just one of the best puzzle games on iOS, but any platform.