Review: Sol Free, Solebon, and Wee Spider Solitaire by Smallware
This review originally appeared within iLounge’s iOS Gems series within the compilation article, iPhone Gems: Every Solitaire Game, Reviewed. Additional details may be found in the original article.
Perhaps because the price tags were so high for the paid versions of these apps, we were expecting quite a bit from Smallware’s Sol Free Solitaire ($10) and Solebon Solitaire ($5). However, we came away with the impression that both of these titles were overpriced for what they offered, and wound up liking the company’s Wee Spider Solitaire (Free) much more.
Sol Free has three rule-limited versions of card games that are also offered elsewhere: the traditional Klondike, here restricted to the popular, easier 3-card deal rule, plus Baker’s Game and Demon versions of Solitaire. All of these games are offered on a relatively plain board that’s presented solely in vertical orientation. While Smallware’s presentation of these titles isn’t quite up to snuff with Apple’s latest iPod nano and classic version of Klondike, as it’s missing customization features, and the interface is tap only rather than drag-based, it’s very nice for a free game; this would be the one we’d grab right away to play Solitaire on the iPhone or iPod touch without shelling out for a more expensive version of the title. iLounge rating: B.
Solebon is supposed to be Smallware’s flagship title, offering a selection of 20 games on top of the same interface found in Sol Free. There aren’t any rule adjustments here, so one of the 20 games is the Klondike Deal 3 found in the free title, and another is the Deal 1 version. Again, the games are presented plainly on a brown background with no choice of art or cards, and there’s no audio to speak of apart from the sound of a shuffling deck. It just doesn’t seem like it’s worth paying $10 for the added titles; that sort of ransom would be far better spent on Mondo Solitaire or Solitaire City, less on Solitaire Forever. iLounge rating: C-.
Finally, Wee Spider Solitaire presents seven Solitaire games, though the number’s again a little misleading: Smallware includes three versions of Spider in that number. Unlike Sol Free and Solebon, these games are presented within a horizontal orientation only, and while you get very readable cards and a clean interface, there are again no settings here, no customization, and no dragging—just tapping. Wee Spider could and should really be blended into Solebon, then enhanced with a better overall interface. iLounge rating: C-.