I've loved solitaire ever since my Grandad taught me the game when I was young. Since then, I’ve had an unfortunate tendency to get hooked on the generic Microsoft Solitaire game a few too many times. This time I decided I should put my faux-addiction to good use and check out Faerie Solitaire: Harvest, developed by Subsoap and published by Puppygames.
To start off, Faerie Solitaire is quite a pretty game. It’s got a nice nature aesthetic to it and doesn’t go overboard on the sparkles and glitter. The card designs themselves are interesting, and the different “pets” that you acquire as you go through are appropriately creative. Overall, it’s a nice set-up.
For the actual gameplay, laying down the cards is fun. Like many other solitaire games on the market, the gameplay consists of what I like to call “match” solitaire or what is commonly known as Golf Solitaire. Fifty-two cards are dealt on the board in a particular fashion, with only top cards face up, and a draw pile. Pairs are made according to face value, and the deck can be used when there are no longer any matches on the board, with a maximum of one reshuffle. It’s easier than traditional Klondike solitaire and doesn’t have the innate challenges of something like Spider Solitaire, making it a perfect idle game to play when you only have a few minutes and want to unwind.
Faerie Solitaire: Harvest does have a plot, but it’s a bit difficult to access. You can actually play through the entire game without touching the plot if you’d like, which is nice but makes it feel somewhat impersonal. You unlock different pieces of lore as you play through and find items, and the aforementioned pets also unlock pieces of lore as you go through and hatch them from eggs and then level them up. Unfortunately, doing the story this way isn’t particularly compelling, so if you’re looking for an interesting plot to sink your teeth into, you’d be better off looking elsewhere. The game also notes when you first open up the lore page that some pieces can’t be accessed until you start over with a New Game +, really testing your dedication.
I’m not even sure if unlocking and freeing the faeries is a good thing, to be honest. The game makes it look very sparkly and nice, but for all I know, these could be evil Dresden Files-esque fae who want to wait till the end of the game to strangle me. Hopefully not.
Faerie lore isn’t the only little add-on that the game offers as an option, there are also all kinds of extra abilities and bells and whistles that you can find and get in the game to make playing easier, but they’re not very necessary. Each level seems to be able to be completed at a basic level of competency, I haven’t had to redo a level once and I’m a fair way into the game. If you’re going for the gold and aiming to unlock every achievement, wipe the table with every level and unlock every piece of lore, the abilities will no doubt make it easier.
In some ways, I do quite like the extras and add-ons being optional, as if I simply want to sit down and play solitaire for the sake of playing solitaire, I don’t have to worry about satisfying level requirements or anything like that. However, the extras and the way the game scores points and experience aren’t very clearly explained. I found it difficult to get the hang of once I did start poking around.
Faerie Solitaire: Harvest is good clean fun, and a nice relaxing game to play. It definitely needs some polish and smoothing down some rough edges in terms of cohesion. Still, for those looking for a game to unwind with, you’ll unlock a gem with this one.
TechRaptor covered Faerie Solitaire: Harvest on PC via Steam with a code provided by the developer.