I have to admit that I’m not the biggest fans of Windows-based PCs. I’ve been using them for the last couple of decades, but that’s only out of necessity since their domination of the marketplace. But there’s one thing that used to be good about the platform – the free games that we all used to have. More specifically, the classic card game Solitaire.
What’s In A Name
It doesn’t matter what name you know it by – Solitaire, Klondike or Patience – it’s one of those games that is addictive but frustrating in equal measures. Part of it, to be honest, is down to pure luck and the way the cards are dealt from the start but there is a small element of skill involved. Or at least you’re lead to believe so while playing. I guess that’s why the game has remained so popular for as long as it has.
Growing Up With Solitaire
I first remembered playing this as a child. Getting a pack of cards and sitting down keeping myself occupied for hours. Whether it was the traditional version of the game or variants of it. Long before getting my first PC I remember a free version being released for the Amiga, Klondike AGA that had built up an incredible reputation for itself amongst the Amiga gaming community. This was probably the most unique version I’d seen up to that point – not only did you have the game, but it had different card sets available so you could customise what the cards looked like. Not only that, it was incredibly easy to create your own with one of the great art packages available at the time and the templates provided. By the time interest in Klondike AGA fizzled out, over 800 card sets had been released catering for almost every taste!
But it was Windows PCs where Solitaire grabbed most people’s attention and became a real time waster. Instead of using their PCs for productivity or work, users were found playing that for hours on end (or its partner-in-crime Minesweeper!). While it retained the basic look for the lifetime that it was bundled with the operating system, it didn’t stop it from enthralling a generation of PC owners.
Because of the relatively short time it takes to play and complete (or quit) a game, it was something that anyone could get into no matter what you were using the PC for and that’s what inevitably lead to its popularity. Waiting for a large document to print? Play a quick game. Burning a CD? Same again. Solitaire was everyone’s go-to timewaster.
But with the game being removed from Windows, what if like me you’re still craving a Solitaire fix? While I’ve got packs of playing cards lying around, having space to play isn’t always possible, especially with several dogs roaming around the house and a bird that loves pecking on any cardboard she can find! But Solitaire.org came to the rescue with free online versions of the game that can be played anywhere. Whether it’s on my laptop in between writing, or using my phone while travelling, I’ve always got the game to hand.
The addictive gameplay is still there, but with customisable game options and records kept of all my statistics for wins, losses and personal best times, it’s the best way I’ve found to play it yet!