Capsule Review: Faerie Solitaire

A simple and relaxing card game. Cards are placed into piles on the table with the layout varying between levels and generally becoming more complex as the game goes on. The player can deal cards from the remaining deck one at a time onto their foundation. The top card of a table pile may be moved onto the foundation if it’s one rank higher or lower than the foundation’s current top card, which reveals the next card in the table pile. The goal is to clear as many cards from the table as possible before the deck runs out.

There is some amount of strategy involved - when there are multiple plays available, you want to pick the one that will maximize the expected number of followup plays - but it’s not particularly deep or complex. As a result, the gameplay functions best as something to unwind with or to partially occupy yourself with while listening to a podcast or something. You also have goals for each set of levels - things like getting some number of perfect clears or getting a combo of a certain size. This adds a bit of variety to the gameplay, but still doesn’t require full attention as most of these goals are things you would be trying to do anyway.

There are several other mechanics layered on top to create a sense of progression - clearing cards awards money which can be spent on a number of upgrades (such as turning more table cards face up so you can see what’s coming, or adding a counter to tell you how many cards remain in the deck) and you will sometimes find eggs that can be hatched into pets (though these confer no mechanical advantage). These systems help give the sense that you’re building toward something, even if they don’t ultimately make much difference.

Presumably the story helps with this too? I have no idea; I ignored it completely. I don’t play Faerie Solitaire to pay attention to Faerie Solitaire; the between-level cutscenes just delayed the gameplay and I skipped them all. The game did not seem to suffer for it.

I Stopped Playing When: I played it occasionally for years as my while-doing-something-else game until it was displaced by Picross games.

Docprof's Rating:

Three Stars: Good. I liked the game enough to finish it (or just play it a bunch, for games that don't end). I recommend it to most genre fans.

You can get it or learn more here.