Seller: Ambrosia Software
Requirements: iPhone OS 3.2 or later
File Size: 28.1MB
Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Age Rating: 4+
Solitaire. Is it the reason we have computers? No; although perhaps it’s the reason we have Windows. But if you’ve only ever played Microsoft’s take on solitaire, you’re really missing out. Ambrosia Software’s Mondo Solitaire for iPad gives you the classics you love, like Klondike and Spider, plus many other solitaire variants that you’ve likely never heard of. If you can’t get enough solitaire, then Mondo Solitiare for iPad is a must.
Solitaire games on the App Store are both numerous and of varying levels of quality. Thankfully, it’s a bit easier to sift through the iPad compatible solitaire apps since there just aren’t as many to pick from. But really, you don’t need to look anywhere other than Ambrosia Software for the best iPad solitaire game. Mondo Solitaire for iPad really has it all. With over 100 solitaire games and numerous options each, you could spend the better part of the next year just trying them all out, let alone mastering any of them. And I know you’re saying that you don’t know how to play any funky solitaire games. Don’t worry, this game already knows that; each game comes with a thorough description and outline of the rules. Plus, the game won’t let you do anything illegal (game-wise at least), so you can’t “do it wrong.” Actually, you can cheat, but that’ll taint your game. Let’s not get into that, because you seem like the honest type.
When searching for a different game to play, you have numerous ways to sort through the huge list. You can sort by name, popularity, number of decks, average length of game and winning percentage. Or if you really can’t make up your mind, you can just have Mondo deal you a random game to you. The game even keeps track of your personal statistics, so you can see which games you’ve been winning or which ones have taken all of your time. For instance, Klondike used to take up all of my time…until I got sick of losing, at least.
Tons of games are great to have at your disposal, but gameplay is what really matters. As you could probably already guess, the gameplay here is sweet. Card animations are both smooth and attractive. To draw more cards from the deck, all you have to do it tap it. To move a card, you can either drag it with your finger, or double tap it. If there’s more than one possible position, it’ll ask you to pick one. Really, the only thing that’s not intuitive about this game is how to move a stack of cards. It’s done by taping the topmost card you want to drag from a stack. This puts a paperclip over your card selection. Then, you can treat it as if it were a single card. Easy enough.
The game also provides easy access to settings, game information, undo, redo, and some shortcuts. If you swipe left it undoes the last play you did, which may be useful, you know, if you like to be a cheater. And here I was, thinking you were the honest type…
If you’ve made it to the point where winning is inevitable, all you have to do is swipe up to move all remaining cards to their final positions. This is about a thousand times more convenient than dragging or double tapping everything.
There are currently a few bugs in this game, but every one I’ve found has been pretty minor. Sometimes you’ll try to launch a game (or at random points in games really) and it will crash. And you might find other similar quirks, but relaunching the game seems to resolve most of these. It’s really just a matter of Ambrosia finding these, and I don’t doubt they will. I’ve already made a bigger deal out of the few times this game crashed than I should have in this review.
Other than that, there are really only two things I could think of to improve this game, if at all. First, it might be nice to have a game recommendation system built in. For instance, if you always play Klondike because it’s the only one you know, but you seem to be falling fate to the fact that Klondike hates everyone who plays it, Mondo could recommend that you play Exotic Klondike instead. It’s basically the same game, but it’s played with two decks. This is simply an option change from inside of the Klondike game. You can change the number of suits to more or less than 4. I like exotic. This gives you 8 suits, and makes winning much more likely. If you’ve ever struggled with Klondike, well…then you’re welcome.
Also, I’d really like to see multiplayer card games. This card game engine is beautiful, and it seems like it wouldn’t be terribly difficult to adapt it to games like poker, blackjack, spades, hearts, etc. But that sounds more like a separate game, which is fine by me. Please Ambrosia?
In short, Mondo Solitaire for iPad is the one and only solitaire game you’ll ever need for the device. It has more varieties of solitaire than you can shake a stick at, and certainly more than you even realized there were. The graphics are beautiful and smooth. The mechanics are intuitive and gameplay is fun. What more could you ask for? Maybe it being a universal app? I hear you.
By the way, if the price has you questioning whether you really need over 100 separate flavors of solitaire, there’s a “Top 5″ version that only includes the 5 most commonly played solitaire variants. It’s $3.99, and it’s called Mondo Top 5 Solitaire for iPad.