Review by somatix

Reviewed: 03/10/02 | Updated: 03/10/02

Solitaire on the NES has never been this good.

You are tired, coming home from a late night of being out. Lacking the attention span of sitting in front of the computer you turn on the TV, to your surprise the channels are littered with infomercials. What to do? You don’t want to go to sleep, but are to out of it to play any game that requires reflexes or attention. After many minutes deliberating what to do you pull out AVE’s version of Solitaire for the greatest video game system of all time and veg out.

Anyone who has Microsoft Windows installed probably has played and seen a video based version of Solitaire before. However, before there was Windows there was the great gray box that made Nintendo a house hold name. The NES version of solitaire was an unlicensed cart distributed by American Video Entertainment. It is actually a good version of the game, although it would probably be pretty hard to mess up solitaire.

Game play:
The game is just solitaire, if you don’t know how to play solitaire then you probably will have trouble playing the game since there is no information about the rules anywhere on the cart. Before the game starts you get to personalize the deck you are using, this includes picking a picture and color for the deck. Also at the menu screen you can decide to have sound or music and also play three card deal or one card deal. The options are pretty simplistic and except for the number of cards dealt have no effect on the game play. The interface when dealing and moving the cards is very intuitive. If you want to move a card you put the cursor over it and hit the button, the cursor will turn blue to let you know you are going to move a card. Then move the cursor to the location that you want to place the card and hit the button again. If you want to re-deal the cards just hit select, then start and the cards will be re-dealt. That is about the extent of the game play. This is a bare bones version of solitaire. When you win there is no movie or cute graphic, all you get is a “You Win”.

There is music for the menus and game, but it is much better to just turn it off and put on a cd or play in silence. The music is nothing great and in-game music really wouldn’t add much to the game anyway. The sound effects are pretty simplistic, but they are nice because they give feedback when moving cards around. You can still live without them though.

The graphics in this game are pretty bad. They only had to draw a couple of graphics, yet they still messed it all up. The queen looks like she isn’t wearing a bra and the king and jacks are just blobs of coloring on the card faces. The deck backs are also nothing exciting. One minor annoyance I noticed was that if you change the color of the deck it can be a little harder to distinguish between the different colors. For example if you change the color to gray it can require a little more attention when distinguishing the cards. The graphics may be bad, but this game has good game play and that is really what should matter anyway.

Final Thought:
This is a good game of solitaire and is the perfect game to play when you want to relax or before going to sleep. Nothing is better than sitting in the recliner, popping in this game and just zoning out. I would recommend this game to anyone who has an NES and likes solitaire.

Rating:   4.0 - Great

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