Now available at the considerably smaller file size of just 4.11MB Simply Solitaire HD is the first game created in Game Maker to be published to the Android operating system.
The game of Klondike Solitaire is the same as that available on both iPod and iPad and, as on iOS, is a free download.
The controls are pretty intuitive. Tap and drag moves cards with a double tap jumping a card to one of the top piles if the move is possible. Double tapping on the deck turns over the next card. That said there is a good introduction of how to play the game as well as an explanation of the scoring system available from the options menu.
Cards are positioned in a “natural card layout” whereby the rows of cards are not completely straight by instead slightly angled, a better reflection of playing with a real deck. The cartoony card art ensures the different suits and values can be immediately distinguished without looking too plain and boring, I think this makes Simply Solitaire HD seem a bit more fun than other available Solitaire games.
I expected the game to contain overpowering YoYo Games branding, and yes the card art and background contain the logo but once you are playing a game you don’t notice these at all.
Nice features include the option to switch between the default one card draw Solitaire and the more commonly seen three-card draw game. There is also an auto complete function which you can choose to make use of once you have revealed all the cards.
Each time you successfully remove a card from the main playing area a flying star effect appears to indicate the progress you are making which is a nice touch.
Unlike the iPhone version, which promises ‘No Adverts!’, the bottom 10% of the screen is taken up with image advertisements (for revenue rather than other YoYo Games titles) which, with the exception of flipping ads, doesn’t distract from the game play at all.
There are a few minor bugs and unexpected functionalities.
When you turn over new cards from the deck a sound effect plays which is slower than the accompanying animated visual. This is especially noticeable when playing the three-card draw game as the final ‘click’ sound is played after all the cards have been flipped.
There is an automatic save feature so you can leave a game halfway through and resume playing at a later date. If you fully exit the app and then open it again to continue, your previous game is loaded but the ‘moves’ counter always seems to be at ‘3’ regardless of the number of moves you have actually made (see screenshot above which would be impossible to obtain after just 3 moves!).
Pressing the physical back button on my phone when viewing the options menu doesn’t return to the game as is the case in most other Android games. Instead this displays a prompt asking if I really want to exit the application.
The game only plays in portrait mode, I believe this is also the case with the iPhone version. I presume this is so that in large stacks of cards the face value of each remains easily visible but it is slightly annoying.
Simply Solitaire HD was released yesterday and has already been updated with added compression and the ability to move it from built-in storage to a SD card. It is a fun game and well worth taking a look at if you have access to an Android device, hopefully the minor issues mentioned above will be rectified to improve gamer experience.
Simply Solitaire HD is a free download from the Android Marketplace.
Tested on a HTC Desire running Android 2.2