Viveport Review: Solitaire VR
Looking for a game to play all by your lonesome with a little bit of a spooky twist? Think you have the guts to survive a night of card playing all alone in a haunted mansion? Look no further than Solitaire VR.
By Desmond Madison, Greenlit Content
Patience, better known as Solitaire in the US and Canada, is the collective name for a number of card games that can be played alone by a single player. Games of Patience generally involve removing cards from a number of different layouts, with the ultimate goal of removing all the cards in play. If this all sounds pretty familiar, it's likely that even if you've never played a game of Patience/Solitaire with cards, you played it on a PC - it has appeared on nearly every version of Windows since 1990.
Naturally, Patience is ripe for an update, at least visually. While there are many solitaire variants available on a variety of platforms, Solitaire VR is one of the first attempts at bringing this venerable card game to VR.
Any veteran of Patience games will be happy to see that three varieties are available to play in Solitaire VR: Klondike, Freecell, and Yukon. From a rules perspective all three are faithfully recreated, but that alone doesn't seem enough to justify a VR experience. With an accurate representation of the game rules as a base, what does a developer like Babaroga, LLC bring to the (card) table?
The answer is, in a nutshell: atmosphere and story. In a radical departure from the 'green baize background' of classic solitaire games, Solitaire VR is set within the virtual halls of an ancient mountain keep, a gothic manor owned by a mysterious owner known only as the Baron. Whilst you play, you'll witness spectres of sorrow, love, and loss dance across the hallways to the player piano in the foyer. As you explore the grounds to look for more decks to play, you'll start to unravel a haunting tale of the previous occupants of the manor.
With atmospheric visuals on par with Disney’s Haunted Mansion, and a gradually revealed mystery to explore, there are plenty of elements to enjoy here beyond simple solitaire. While solitaire can be engrossing - there's a reason it's endured, after all - Solitaire VR's visuals and art direction keeps you invested to where you’re playing this classic game almost as much for the unique experience as you are for the relaxation.
After all, playing patience has never been about excitement and adrenaline; it's a game designed to help you pass the time with a simple set of playing cards. While the entry requirements for Solitaire VR are clearly considerably higher than a deck of cards, Solitaire VR does an excellent job invoking a mood, with a world that’s just intriguing enough to keep you wanting to come back to look for more secrets.
Are you bold enough to unlock the stories of the past, or do you prefer to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sight of the gorgeous mansion? The choice is yours, so why not see what’s in the cards with this low-cost and impressive presentation of the simple classic.