Review: Solitaire Forever by Mike Sedore
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.
We can hear the comments from competing developers already Solitaire Forever ($6) may just be too flashy for its own good. But in our view, Mike Sedore has produced the single slickest and most reasonably priced version of Solitaire on the iPhone, offering enough depth and cosmetic appeal to keep us very interested for a long time. Some users may find its default vertical view—with angled cards—to be overly busy, but we enjoyed the game in either vertical or its flatter horizontal orientation, which offers some of the largest and most readable cards we’ve seen in these titles.
Solitaire Forever uses a fairly sophisticated 3-D engine to present and animate the cards on top of a grid-like board; you can also zoom in on parts of board, not that it’s necessary. Sedore gives you a choice of two card fronts, one with larger, easier to read icons, and a meager selection of three card backs, with zero background options. These missing customization features are, in our view, the game’s only significant omission, though users without significant iPod music libraries may also mind the lack of music and very simple sound effects. As with other games in this Solitaire category, we don’t deduct much for the missing audio here.
Besides the cool graphics, a major reason to like Solitaire Forever is its inclusion of over 150 different Solitaire rulesets to choose from, all organized by name and accessible with a custom on-screen keyboard. Not all are different games—some are just second or third titles for other ones—but if there’s a version of the game you know, you’re more likely to find it here than in any other Solitaire title we’ve seen. The game also offers offers redo and undo features, plus a button to help you see playable cards.
While the visual presentation may strike some as a little gimmicky, and there are other little issues—there should be more backgrounds, the animation could stand to be smoother, and there could be online leaderboarding—this is an example of a title that really tries to push the iPhone OS visually, and generally succeeds. Whereas a more conventionally presented 2-D title such as Mondo Solitaire would appeal to older players, this one will appeal a lot to younger players looking for a bit more to be happening on screen. We’re especially taken by the game’s pricing, which strikes us as very fair considering what’s inside; it is the primary reason that this is our only highly recommended iPhone Solitaire title. We hope that the developer will keep on working to improve it further. iLounge Rating: A-.