What is it?
It’s software, so there really isn’t any hardwood, but there is plenty of solitaire. Hardwood Solitaire IV is a universal app for iPhone and iPad that gives you ten versions of the “just me and a deck of cards” game. This pack comes with some smooth graphics and plenty of variety.
How does it work?
The controls are the expected iOS touch and drag. New cards turn themselves over so all you need to do is move your selected card.
If you are out of moves or simply stumped, tap on the Menu button at the top right and you can go back to the main menu, deal a new round, ask for a hint (this will cost you a few points) or ask for help (how to play the game). I found the Help option very handy because I have not seen most of the versions of solitaire the game offers.
Is it contagious?
Solitaire is a familiar go-to game for most people, and this version has some visual appeal. However, the iPhone/iPod Touch version is so small that selecting and placing the cards is a bit difficult. The buttons also seem to have a problem recognizing they have been touched. I experienced a pronounced time lag when dragging the game selection menu and when pressing the in-game Menu button. Our editor-in-chief, Kirk Hiner, tells me the UI is much easier to control on the larger iPad screen, where the graphics really shine, but that the animations were still often quite jerky.
Lastly, and this may be nit-picking, but the suit cards have a single suit indicator which looks a bit too much like an Ace.
All things considered, this is just another solitaire game.
Developer: Silver Creek Entertainment
Download: Hardwood Solitaire IV