Ski Solitaire

App of the Day: Ski Solitaire

Solitaire has been pre-installed on home computers since the early '90s, so why everyone's decided to remake it all of a sudden is a bit of a mystery. If the timing seems unusual, however, it's easier to see why it's ripe for a makeover: it's a game that everyone's familiar with, that barely requires any instructions to play, and it has that all-important element of luck that adds just enough frustration to keep you wriggling away on the end of its hook.

And it turns out Solitaire's a pretty difficult game to screw up. Big Fish's smartly-presented Fairway Solitaire took it out on the links, forcing players to chip out of bunkers and clear water hazards to progress. Then PopCap's browser-based productivity killer Solitaire Blitz introduced power-ups and time limits, producing a game so dangerously addictive that I genuinely spent 20 pounds of real money to keep playing rather than wait an hour for the game's energy meter to refill.

Thankfully, Greenfly Studios doesn't plan on nickel-and-diming its players; the initial 1.99 outlay is all you'll ever need to play its game. It's closer to Big Fish's take on Solitaire than to PopCap's, trading fairways for powdery slopes populated by characters seemingly lifted from a long-forgotten wintry comic strip in the Beano.

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