Soltrio Solitaire Review
Soltrio Solitaire serves up 13 varieties of the solo card game for your Xbox 360. You get the Klondike, FreeCell, and Spider varieties that are well-known to PC owners and bored office workers everywhere, as well as some relatively obscure variants such as Archway and Forty Thieves. But solitaire is solitaire, and you pretty much can guess what youíre getting yourself into with Soltrio; itís not much different than the more portable experience you can get with a deck of cards and a book of solitaire game rules.
With solitaire the basic goal of the game is to avoid losing, but Soltrio adds some additional motivation through its Voyage mode. In this mode you must win three games at each ďlocationĒ (i.e. different background graphic) before being allowed to move on to the next one. The reward for winning at all the locations are some Achievement points for your Gamerscore and some graphics to use in building customized backs for your card deck. Since the solitaire games are no different whether or not youíre playing in the Voyage mode, I canít really think of any reason why youíd want to play individual games of solitaire outside of this mode. Itís not like the Voyage mode adds any extra challenge as you can play any variant that you want at any time at each location. You can even just stick to Memory the whole time since you canít lose at this card-matching game. Still I suppose it is good to see that the developers tried to add a little something extra to the game beyond the solo card games.
The biggest problem is that once you take away Memory and the games and their variants that already come with your PC, youíre left with only seven other games. In addition, some of these essentially play themselves, taking all strategy out of what already is a very chance-dependent game. In fact, most of the challenge in some of these variants comes in trying to figure out the rules as the in-game help is not very good at explaining the rules of each game. Lastly the games play out a lot more slowly than they do on the PC or with a real deck of cards as a video game controller is not the best device for dragging cards from one stack to another.
Soltrio tries to add a unique aspect to the solo card game experience with the inclusion of the oxymoronic multiplayer solitaire. There are two ways to play online, either working together with another player in co-op mode or competing against each other head to head. The co-op mode is not particularly entertaining as solitaire is pretty much just a card-matching game with a large component of randomness to it and the experience just doesnít gain anything from the inclusion of another player looking for card matches. The competitive games more closely resemble the kidsí card game Speed, with each player trying to burn through their deck of cards by playing matching cards onto the piles on the table. These games play out pretty quickly, but are not quite as fast (or nearly as fun) as playing Speed against your niece or kid brother.
Soltrio Solitaire can only really be recommended to those who really enjoy the card game and simply have to play it on their Xbox 360. For everyone else thereís just not enough here thatís different or exciting enough to warrant buying and downloading the game.
In The End, This Game Hath Been Rated: 62%. Soltrio Solitaire costs more than a deck of cards and a book of solitaire games without giving you much more for your money.