Genre: Card Games
Developer: Smallware LLC
Seller: Smallware LLC
File Size: 0.5 MB
Requirements: iPhone 2.0 software
Compatibility: iPhone and iPod touch
Age Rating: 4+
Price: Free / $9.99 (Full Version)
Version Reviewed: 1.0
The thing I love above all other aspects of the Mac when compared to Windows is that free applications can often be on par with—or better than—paid ones. On Windows, you are hard pressed to find good, free software, but on Mac OS X, if you find a good program, chances are there is a free one that works just as well. The iPhone and iPod touch’s App Store is very much the same. Not only can you find free programs that do the same things as paid ones, but quite often the developers of paid applications will release free “lite” versions. Such is the case with Sol Free Solitaire, the free version of the full Solebon Solitaire.
The only indication that Sol Free Solitaire is a watered down version of another app is the name. Had they simply called this “Solitaire,” I doubt anyone would realize there was a full version to buy. Sol Free contains three solitaire games, Baker’s Game, Demon and Klondike Deal 3. The paid version contains over 20. Other than that, Sol Free is entirely full-featured. Gameplay is the best it possibly could be. To move a card, tap it, then tap the pile you want to move it to. It will then slide over with a seamless animation.
During gameplay, you can access rules and stats, undo limitless moves, or Auto-Play, which will automatically stack cards that are in play, thus speeding up the game. There is no in-game music, so you can use your own music library. The ability to change backgrounds and card art isn’t present, but the interface is extremely polished, and it’s one of the most iPhone-native looking apps I’ve seen so far. Cards, though small, are well-designed so it is no struggle at all to see what card you’re moving and where, unlike most other solitaire games which feature tiny, indecipherable mini-cards. I can’t say I’d change it if I could.
For a free game, it certainly cannot get much better.