|Genre: Board & Card|
|Min OS X: 10.2 CPU: G3 RAM: 256 MB Hard Disk: 25 MB Graphics: 16 MB VRAM|
|Kitty Spangles Solitaire|
July 5, 2005 | Sean Daly
In this time of MMORPGs and online death matches sometimes it is nice to take a break and enjoy some quality time by yourself. Kitty Spangles Solitaire is the perfect game for those times. It is a highly polished solitaire game created for casual and hardcore solitaire players.
Kitty Spangles exclusively follows the Klondike rules of solitaire. These are the same rules used on the ubiquitous Windows version of solitaire and arguably the most popular version of solitaire in the world. Very simply, you have to create four stacks (foundations) from ace up to king. You accomplish this by using the field (tableau) to organize your cards from king down to ace alternating black suits and red suits. Three cards are dealt at a time from the deck (stock).
David and Sheryn Wareing, the husband and wife team behind Swoop Software, have implanted a scoring system into the game. Placing cards in a foundation increases your score. Every time you deal additional cards or reshuffle the stock your score goes down. Keeping track of the score is a good way to track your progress as you can play the same deck again and attempt to get a higher score. However, no score is kept on games that aren't completed. You only reach the high score board when you complete a game. Unfortunately, the high score table is local only; there is no online high score table.
The gameplay is very clean and well thought out. Double-click a card and it will play itself in the appropriate pile. However, double-clicking cards that cannot be placed results in a point penalty. In version 1.02, new options have been added that greatly increase the game's enjoyment. You can now activate an option where Ferdiham Horatio Pig (one of the three characters in the game) will let you know if there are no more valid moves left. You can also activate Kitty Spangles (the games namesake character) to finish the game for you when only valid moves remain. The game also offers unlimited undos, the ability to play the same hand again, and an autosave feature. The autosave is probably the greatest feature. When you quit and then restart, the cards are exactly where you left them and you can still undo any move you have previously made. It is a quick, intuitive, and fun game to play.
The graphics can easily be described as adorable. The three characters, Kitty, Ferdiham, and Bim Bim the cheery chimp are well represented as the face cards. The rest of the deck is very traditional. You cannot change the cards' look but you can change the playing field's background. There are currently 23 colorful and animated ones to choose from while playing the game. Each background is creative and adds to the adorable nature and feeling of the game.
The sound is below expectations. Standard shuffle sounds, moving of cards, boings when you try make an illegal move and unfortunately not much else. There is no background music. I found this very surprising since the game greets you with a great intro tune. Also, there is no iTunes integration built into the game. Both options would have been nice.
Overall, the game is a great version of Klondike solitaire but at $19.95 it is overpriced. Many online sites offer Klondike variations of solitaire for free and some offer additional options like drawing one or three cards at a time and online high score tables. Kitty Spangles Solitaire is a great version of Klondike solitaire but there are not enough options and gameplay variations to justify a $19.95 price tag.
Editor's Note: As of July 2005, Kitty Spangles Solitaire's price has been changed to $14.95.