HomeReviews2/5 Review15in1 Solitaire Review

15in1 Solitaire Review

-

Seventeen pence a game – that’s what 15in1 Solitaire offers. Drop down a princely £2.49 and you get fifteen solo card games. It almost gives 15in1 Solitaire review-armour. How can you criticise an Xbox title when each game is less than a Freddo?

Yep, we can’t dispute the value. Having rummaged in 15in1 Solitaire’s drawers for a few evenings, we can appreciate how much has been crammed in for the price. The games included aren’t all riffs on Klondike, say, but with one or two rule changes. These are – for the most part – cherry-picked from a broad range of different Solitaire variants. There are classics like Klondike, Freecell and Spider, while obscurities like Tam O’Shanter and Baker’s Dozen also squeeze in.

15in1 Solitaire review 1
15in1 Solitaire is particularly cheap

Presentation-wise, these are about as plain as you’d expect for the price. The best we can say is that the cards are clear, and the games are presented on a neat little carousel. But otherwise this is spartan. You can’t change anything about the sea of green and white: no card backs, cards or tables can be changed. Which is fine: we’d rather the focus was on the gameplay than some fancy-looking Kings or Queens. 

Pick a game and things start to unwind. Instructions for the chosen game can be brought up with a tap of X, and the developers have tried to fit them onto a Post-It Note. There just isn’t enough space to cover all of the intricacies of a given game, and it ends up omitting vital things. In some games, for example, you can move whole stacks of cards, and it doesn’t matter if the stacks are disordered. As long as the top card fits onto the destination stack, you can move it. This is fundamental information, and the tutorials omit it for space. 

Then there are the controls. Solitaire games need to feel precise and speedy for them to work. You’re often shuffling cards to get an advantage and that can take a number of moves. The end of a Klondike session can have you moving, one by one, cards onto the foundation, which – again – takes time. You need control and speed for that to feel remotely as entertaining as sitting in front of a pack of cards in your living room.

15in1 Solitaire bungles this completely. It out-bungles most of the other Solitaire games we’ve played. The biggest of all is the lack of an auto-finish. Once you’ve reached a point where the game is trivial – all of the cards are neatly ordered and only need to be moved to a foundation – then you want to be sprinting to the end. Some games employ an automated service that moves all the cards. But not here. 15in1 Solitaire forces you to painstakingly move every single card, snapping from stack to stack, and it takes an impossibly long time. In other games you would be punching the air at this point, but in 15in1 Solitaire you’re tutting as you do the final admin. 

15in1 Solitaire review 2
Various game variants

Then there are the basic controls. 15in1 Solitaire chooses not to use a cursor, which might have been a mistake (Dreamland Solitaire shows how it can work, and work well). Instead, you snap from card to card, but you can’t do it speedily. You have to wait for the game to catch up. And then there’s the question of whether a card is in focus. Sometimes, a card in the draw pile is in focus, other times it’s not. You can tap on a destination stack, expecting the card to move over, only to find that it’s eerily not highlighted. And don’t get us started on why 15in1 Solitaire forces you to press once on a card to remove a previous card’s focus, and tap it a second time to highlight the card. There’s an unwieldy huff and puff to 15in1 Solitaire. It felt like we were urging a snail over a finish line. 

But our rage is aimed more at the games themselves. Roughly half of the games in 15in1 Solitaire are fine. They work as expected, albeit slowly and with some rules that have been edited out. But some games simply don’t work, don’t work as intended, or are enigmas that might fall in either of the two categories – we simply haven’t worked out which yet. 

In the first category is Golf. We know Solitaire Golf: we’ve played it on other compendiums. But you can’t stack the cards or move them. No input works. Baker’s Dozen goes one better by allowing you to actually interact with the cards, but the rules have been implemented incorrectly. Or, at least, we think they have been, because if it hasn’t then the game is terrible. You need to make runs of Ace-to-King from thirteen piles of cards (the Baker’s Dozen – well spotted). But you can’t move any cards to empty stacks, which means that any card that is hidden behind a King is stuck. You can’t get to it. If that card is the same suit as the King, you are utterly scuppered. You have to reset: the puzzle is impossible. 

There are more examples. Tam O’Shanter’s cards won’t stack when they say they should. We would love a statistician to give Russia a once-over, as we’re pretty sure you’d need improbable luck for it to be completable. Check the achievements and it’s illuminating: most of the games in this collection have an achievement attached for completing them only once. But in many cases, only 1% or 2% of the community have unlocked them. It’s telling. 

15in1 Solitaire review 3
More a punishment than anything else

To cap our experience off, we returned to 15in1 Solitaire one evening to find all of our progress gone. We had achievements for completing a game, but the in-game stats said that we had not. When achievements push you to complete games five or more times, that’s a sad loss. We couldn’t face yanking our cursor through treacle to reclaim the scores we previously had. We were happy to leave the Gamerscore unclaimed as, it seems, everyone else has done. 

You’d have to be a penny-pinching prude to question the price of 15in1 Solitaire. £2.49 for fifteen games is unquestionably generous. But we’d have taken half the number if they could have been finished. 15in1 Solitaire bundles in some confusing, poorly tutorialised and – on occasion – broken variants of Solitaire, which is no use to anyone. Then someone ties weights to the controls, making them as leaden and inaccurate as you will ever find. 

Sometimes value just isn’t enough. When you spend your time cursing and griping at 15in1 Solitaire, it can feel like you’ve been paid for a punishment.

SUMMARY

Pros:
  • £2.49 is a crazy price
  • Half the games are familiar and work okay
Cons:
  • Controls are deadly slow and imprecise
  • Half the games feel like they barely work
  • Our save game ended up corrupted
  • Presentation is bare bones
Info:
  • Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH
  • Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC
  • Release date and price - 8 May 2024 | £2.49
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Follow Us On Socials

24,000FansLike
1,671FollowersFollow
4,922FollowersFollow
6,670SubscribersSubscribe

Our current writing team

2805 POSTS23 COMMENTS
1528 POSTS2 COMMENTS
1274 POSTS18 COMMENTS
1026 POSTS46 COMMENTS
856 POSTS0 COMMENTS
397 POSTS2 COMMENTS
116 POSTS0 COMMENTS
82 POSTS0 COMMENTS
78 POSTS4 COMMENTS
24 POSTS0 COMMENTS
12 POSTS10 COMMENTS
8 POSTS0 COMMENTS

Join the chat

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you

<b>Pros:</b> <ul> <li>£2.49 is a crazy price</li> <li>Half the games are familiar and work okay</li> </ul> <b>Cons:</b> <ul> <li>Controls are deadly slow and imprecise</li> <li>Half the games feel like they barely work</li> <li>Our save game ended up corrupted</li> <li>Presentation is bare bones</li> </ul> <b>Info:</b> <ul> <li>Massive thanks for the free copy of the game, TXH</li> <li>Formats - Xbox Series X|S (review), Xbox One, PC <li>Release date and price - 8 May 2024 | £2.49</li> </ul>15in1 Solitaire Review
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x