Golf App Review: Fairway Solitaire Blast

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Fairway Solitaire Blast
Developed by Big Fish Games
iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android

Every cellphone/tablet/PC/laptop needs one; a pure time waster of a game that is enough to keep players interested without provoking Call of Duty levels of anger and frustration. Think back a few years and you might remember that almost every electronic device capable of playing games at all used to come with a solitaire game preinstalled that fit the bill rather well.

But those have all but disappeared now (for example, Microsoft stopped including it with Windows installations way back in 2006) but Big Fish Games, known for their splashy graphics and family friendly gaming options, revived computer solitaire for this app and combined it with golf in a way that is not only surprisingly effective but rather addicting as well.

Fairway Solitaire Blast Basics

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It’s not hard to understand the thinking behind the game that would have occurred to Big Fish developers when they came up with the first version of Fairway Solitaire (this is a sequel). Take two hugely popular timesinks, throw them together in a nice looking interface and see what happens. And the result is a twist on a classic that’s pretty darn good.

Play takes place across a series of themed ‘courses’ and these courses are divided into a number of holes. Your task is to clear odd arrangements of cards and get them all moved to the deck sitting at the bottom of the screen by following the general rules of basic solitaire that most of us are familiar with (and there is a tutorial if you are not.)

But it’s not that easy obviously and it is the golf themed tweaks that make the game special. There are water hazard stacks that need to be cleared in order to continue play and often cards are sent into the rough and you actually have to play a separate mini golf game to get them back out and into play.

Fairplay Solitaire In Action

It had actually been years since we’d played solitaire so the brush up tutorial was actually rather helpful. Once into the game it does begin much like any other solitaire game although the graphics are considerably better and represent cartoonish renderings of a number of well known golf courses.

The ease of the game fades quickly though and it’s not too long before you realise that you are actually not only going to have to engage in a little more strategic thinking than you might have planned to but you are also going to have to be pretty alert as wild cards pop up that can occasionally help your game but more often than not wreck your progress completely leaving you with a serious temptation to throw whatever mobile device you are playing on at a wall. But isn’t that one of the marks of a good game, that it can drive you quite that nuts?

As you play through the game a shot meter is constantly monitoring your progress and turning your triumphs into golf bucks that can be spent in the ‘store’. There you will find all kinds of extras too help you along as well as access to even more mini games and courses. Best of all you can also buy power ups, which do pop up in regular gameplay but sparingly, to help you progress faster in the main game.

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The game can be connected with other players, either at random or by going head to head with a specified opponent, so that you can face off mano a mano and there are even weekly online tournaments – with trophies and (play) prize money if you really want to show off your prowess.

In addition to iOS and Android Fairway Solitaire Blast is also available for PC and Amazon Kindle Fire and you can grab all of the links to download the game for various devices by clicking on the button below.