Free solitaire games to while away the hours!!

The recent and very sad news that Yaphet Kotto has died aged 81 has got me re-watching the classic Bond movie Live and Let Die. Remember him as Mr Big/Dr Kananga? Watching this movie as a child terrified me – the crocodiles, the sharks, the henchman with the
metal claw and the voodoo…

Whilst I’m still not sure about Roger Moore as Bond, Jane Seymour as a Bond girl is a different matter. Her ‘Solitaire’ had mystery, skill and a way with cards that was truly magical. And this got me thinking about card games, the skill and luck behind them, and their modern (and free) equivalent online. So if you want to become more like Jane Seymour’s Solitaire and play the cards, which of the many free online Solitaire games are the best?

Solitairebliss.com

Let’s start with solitairebliss.com. It’s a pretty small site, with the option of three solitaire games – Klondike, Spider Solitaire and Freecell. There are a number of variations, the sort you’ll see on pretty much every solitaire site, and it’s ok.

That’s it, it’s…ok.
Maybe a bit more Johnny English than James Bond.
Actually, forget that. It’s a bit more Austin Powers than either of those two.

The graphics are basic, the layout is basic, the games are basic. I’ll put my cards on the table and say it is a throwback to a bygone era. But there is room for all types in this world, and who am I to judge.

There is no music that I can find. The card design is huge and a bit clumsy. What I find the strangest is that for the for entry level gaming design, the instructions that come with the game are actually quite complicated and thorough.

This site is a strange one. Maybe it’s your kind of thing, but I’m pretty sure no self-respecting James Bond would be seen at that card table…

Solitaire.co.uk

At the other end of the spectrum there is the Solitaire.co.uk website….and getting straight to the point it is as colourful and fun as one of Dr Kananga’s suits. I counted 22 versions of the game, from golf solitaire (Scottish or golfing versions), solitaire 0-21, lightning version (you play against the computer) and 4 of a kind.

The occasional 30 second ads feel a bit much when you’re playing a quiet game, that half a
minute can seem like eternity. The background playlist can also be pretty ‘interesting’ – the music for Spanish castle solitaire has more of a Dolly Parton, country and western vibe to it. But as free online solitaire sites go, this one is pretty good and you might even learn a new variant. So much better than the solitaire installed as standard on your old basic PC!

Where it all started

To break things up a bit, and to cross my cultural legends, I want to refer back to the most famous solitaire game of all – the Microsoft classic. The original free game. Long before apps…

A bit like Minesweeper, the famous Nokia Snake or Blackberry Brick Breaker, it’s one of those games that is legendary. It was introduced by Microsoft back in the mists of time (the 90’s anyway) as a means of teaching people how to use a mouse. For people of a certain age, it became a key element in avoiding homework or pretending to be productive and industrious at work when no one could see your screen!

I still have an old PC from the early 2000’s that works and solitaire is there – it still plays as well as ever but I will leave that version unreviewed here as there aren’t many Windows 95 PC’s available on the market these days!! It’s place in the World Video Game Hall of Fame is all that needs to be said…

Coolmath Games Solitaire

The last site up for review is the Coolmath Games versions of Solitaire. As you’d
expect with this site’s wide range of easy to play games, it’s pretty basic. There are five variants – the strangely named ‘Tingly’ Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, Magic SolitairePeg Solitaire and FreeCell (also ‘Tingly’ for some reason!). But it’s not as basic as some others, the solitaire tableau sits on an old wooden table, the music doesn’t get on your nerves and is easy to mute. They also have some educational pages that explain to how to play and offer tips.

The thing with Cool Math Games is that you know what you’re getting. There’s no chat room function alongside the screen and the crude language and name calling that often comes with that. It’s simple to play and has a few options to customize the games your way. But you could hardly call it cutting edge. To continue the Secret Agent theme, I would say it was more Austin Powers than James Bond but there’s room in this world for all sorts…

The Verdict

So which site do you choose to play solitaire and reveal your cards? Solitaire.co.uk would be my choice. It’s the Rolls Royce of solitaire sites, or should I say The Aston Martin.