Fairway Solitaire Blast
Several months ago I reviewed a Big Fish game entitled Fairway Solitaire that was available as part of the Focus Multimedia catalogue. Now it is time for a follow-up offering that has the title of Fairway Solitaire Blast. Unlike the original title, which was for the Windows platform, this follow-up Big Fish offering is an Android game available free-of-charge from the Play Store.
Along with the switch of platforms for this title, the game’s developers have made a number of charges to the game although the basic concept remains the same. As the “Fairway Solitaire” part of the game’s title might indicate, this offering is based on the popular Solitaire Golf game. For those not familiar with this card game I should explain that this is a game where you need to create runs of cards that follow a numeric sequence in either direction by making use of a Draw pile of additional cards. Different layouts, consisting of groups of cards arranged in various patterns, need to be removed from the playing area by using them in sequence starting from a card in the Draw pile. Only cards that are not blocked, even partially, by other cards can form part of a sequence.
With Fairway Solitaire Blast you have to work your way round 18-hole golf courses. Each hole in the course consists of three sections each with its own Solitaire Golf layout. A single Draw pile has to last for the three layouts. You will also need to score a specific number of points or complete a specific task such as removing eight black cards in a sequence or create a run of six face cards to complete a hole. Failure to clear the three layouts before the Draw pile runs out of cards means that particular hole will need to be replayed although there is an alternative route you can take that I will return to shortly.
From time to time special bonus cards are introduced into the game. Some of these cards appear as part of the layout while others are introduced from the Draw pile. Wormburner, Skyball and Explosive are the special cards that appear in the layout. When clicked on, each of these cards can remove other cards. A Wormburner card removes all the cards from its own horizontal row while Skyball takes out the cards vertically. As its name implies, an Explosive card removes cards in its immediate vicinity. In some cases a chain reaction can occur as these special cards active others of its kind that it comes into contact.
Appearing randomly from the Draw pile are cards such as Wild Card, Hot Line or Shuffle tokens. The Wild Card can be used to start or form part of a sequence with the layout cards. More spectacular is Hot Line. Once activated, Hot Line will remove numerous cards from the layout and, in some cases, the next layout to appear. Shuffle, living up to its name, will shuffle the cards in the current layout. These tokens do not need to be used immediately but, as only one can be currently active, it makes sense to use them fairly quickly otherwise they might be deactivated.
Once one of these tokens has made an appearance then another aspect of this game opens up. Although the game itself is free, it does contain an in-game purchase option. You can purchase extra tokens, lives or additional Draw pile cards to help you complete layouts and holes. While the initial layouts and holes are easy to complete (I reached the 14th hole before needed to replay a layout), you might be tempted to hit the credit card to make purchases later in the game.
Special bonuses are on offer as you make progress in the game. These bonuses, in the form of extra points to help you meet the target for the current hole, are awarded for creating lengthy sequences or removing 52 cards without a single mistake.
When you first run this game there is an opening introductory carton style story of various woodland creatures banding together in protest at their habitant being destroyed to create a golf course. However, despite several long playing sessions, I have yet to encounter any further chapters in this story line.
Fairway Solitaire Blast is an enjoyable and addictive game. The introduction of additional targets has certainly made the game more challenging as you often need to decide whether to carry on with a sequence or try to complete the additional target. You can download this game for free from the Play Store.
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