The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn’t necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable “best” thing. Instead, it’s more just us picking out the single game out of the week’s releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.
These picks might be controversial, and that’s OK. If you disagree with what we’ve chosen, let’s try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.
Without further ado…
At this point, I think it’s pretty safe to say you can download anything from Zach Gage and it’s going to be phenomenal. That’s certainly true of his latest release Flipflop Solitaire [Free]. The game of Solitaire is arguably the most played video game of all time, given that it came preinstalled on Windows computers and people all over the world have spent millions if not billions of hours playing it over the past few decades. I’m probably responsible for a million of those hours myself. It’s certainly impressive how enduring the design of Solitaire is that it’s continued to entertain people for so long, and Flipflop Solitaire takes that enduring design and totally turns it on its ear.
The basic goal of Flipflop Solitaire is the same as its inspiration. Move all cards in a deck into piles in ascending order to complete the game. The “flipflop” comes from the fact that suits don’t matter (at least in the default mode) and move cards in the playfield onto others in both ascending order and descending order. Meaning, for example, if you had a column of cards in the order of 10-9-8-7, you could then play an 8 OR a 6 onto that 7 instead of just a 6 like in normal Solitaire. Being that the rules of regular Solitaire are so deeply ingrained, it takes some brain rewiring before the new rules in Flipflop Solitaire click, but once they do the game opens up into something truly special.
That’s really just the basic default “single suit” mode though. Flipflop also offers two, three, four, and even five suit modes. Basically the only rule of multi-suit modes is that you can’t move columns of cards that have mixed suits, they must all be of the same suit. That simple change adds a staggering amount of complexity and challenge to the game that only increases with the more suits you throw into the mix. Personally, I’m still wrapping my head around the single suit mode (and the awesome EX single suit mode which has extra cards and has you sorting 5 piles instead of 4) but I’m happy knowing that as my comfort level with this new type of Solitaire improves there’s additional challenges for me to tackle. This game is NOT coming off my phone any time soon.
I’ve been trying to think of how to express why I enjoy Flipflop Solitaire so much, and I think I figured it out. Solitaire is so enduring because each game is like its own puzzle. You need to figure out how to achieve a goal and make all the correct moves to get you there. One of the best feelings in Solitaire is thinking you’ve hit a wall, and then discovering some moves you can make that get you out of your jam and lead to a winning round. Well, Flipflop Solitaire is that same great feeling but times a thousand, as the small but dramatic changes made to the core formula open up so many options that you’re almost never in an un-winnable situation.
That doesn’t mean you WILL win every game or anything, but the rules are flexible enough that there are all sorts of strategies to get you out of each situation, and it’s up to you and your brain power to recognize them. It’s almost like Flipflop Solitaire is a massive choose your own adventure version of the classic game. It’s just awesome, I don’t know how else to put it. So if you enjoy Solitaire games in any way you have to try out Flipflop Solitaire. It’s free with ads, and a one-time $ 2.99 unlock will give you unlimited access to all modes, customizable backgrounds and card backs, and it’ll remove ads. There’s no reason not to give it a shot, and you should probably clear out some space on your main home screen for this one.