Pair Solitaire (Free) by Gamer Delights is a simple new solitaire game that is all about matching pairs. Because of this, Pair Solitaire falls into the strategic puzzle category, which should be a delight to fans of those genres who are also looking for a fun game to play throughout the day. Pair Solitaire can be compared to other puzzles such as Threes!.
While I don’t play solitaire much these days, I used to play it often when I was younger, and on the computer. It was just an enjoyable way to pass the time. These days I’m all about puzzle games, but I do reminisce about card games, so when I saw Pair Solitaire in the App Store, I was intrigued, especially because my Twitter feed seemed to be buzzing about it as well. So I gave it a try myself over the weekend and it’s just one of those games that you keep coming back to, even if you’re not great at it.
The visuals in Pair Solitaire are simple and clean, but delightful in every way. The background consists of basic colors, but there’s a subtle texture and gradient to it that makes you think of traditional card tables. The cards themselves look like your standard, run-of-the-mill playing cards, but the artwork on them (the front and back) are nice and detailed. Animations in the game are smooth and fluid, and while there is no background music, there are realistic card sound effects and audio cues as to whether or not you’re making the right move.
There is only one game mode in Pair Solitaire, but that’s okay due to the fact that it will always be a randomly generated puzzle for each game — you’ll never have the same experience twice. There is also the Daily Challenge, where all players can compete against each other to see who can get the best score on it. However, the Daily Challenge is locked behind the Full Game upgrade, which is $0.99 and will also remove ads and add new deck styles. Even if you don’t go for the full game, the free version is still fairly enjoyable.
So what is Pair Solitaire? The goal is to match cards by the suit or value. However, the pairs must have one card between them, and to remove a matched card, all you need to do is tap on it. Repeat this process until you’re out of moves. The challenge in Pair Solitaire is to remove as many cards as you possibly can before you run out of possible moves. You’re awarded points based on how many you’ve removed from the stack, as well as the face value of those cards.
Since removing a card can create new opportunities for a match, there is a lot of strategy and thinking ahead involved in this game. You’ll get a quick overview of the cards before you start, so take advantage of that to think of what cards would be right to remove for maximum points.
There’s full Game Center integration for leaderboards and achievements if you want to compete with your friends. And even if you don’t, Pair Solitaire is still fun with the matching aspect.
I’m a big fan of simple mobile games that are challenging and make you think, and Pair Solitaire fits the bill perfectly. I love the visuals, the sound effects are a nice touch, and the gameplay is unique, stimulating, and enough to keep you entertained in short bursts throughout the day for a few minutes or even a few hours (whatever floats your boat). The App Store may get a lot of tried-and-true formula games every week, but every now and then, something like Pair Solitaire shines through, and I’m grateful.
I highly recommend checking out Pair Solitaire if you are a fan of card games and strategic puzzles. You can grab Pair Solitaire on the App Store as a universal download for free with a $0.99 in-app purchase to unlock the “full” game, which includes the Daily Challenge, new card art, and removes ads.