Gridiron Solitaire Review

Gridiron Solitaire Logo

*Sources of screenshots are listed in their respective file-names.
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Gridiron Solitaire* gameplay from the Video Games and the Bible YouTube channel:

Gridiron Solitaire combines the easy-to-grasp gameplay of Solitaire with a charmingly detailed simulation of Football for a title that can be enjoyed by all ages.

A screenshot of the game.

A screenshot of the game.

For those not familiar with Solitaire, the mechanics are quite simple…

Match sequentially numbered cards of alternating colors in ascending/descending order (e.g. match a red 11 with a black 12, or a black 2 with a red 1). Matches made during your turn (or “down”) complete the actions you’ve chosen. Matching a red 11 with a black 12 will make your team run, pass, defend and so on.

The random luck that determines what cards are placed on the field is balanced by the opportunity to use a number of strategic options (on both defense and offense).

On offense, you have to use your knowledge of the opposing team’s statistics to take advantage of their defensive weaknesses. Pressing the Big Play button places extra cards on the field or triggers text events.

Gridiron Solitaire Screenshot 3 from Official Website

Every turn or “down” that you are on offense, you are given the choice to run, pass or (in some cases) go for a field goal/punt.

Gridiron Solitaire Screenshot 1 from Steam Store

Pressing Big Play has a chance to either bring another card onto the field or trigger a text-event. This introduces an element of risk, as the text event could result in a sack or turnover. Will you take the gains you’ve achieved or keep trying for a possible match?

On defense, you have to consider where your opponent’s offense is strong and choose to defend a run or pass. Anticipating the next play and rationing your use of a limited number of Big Plays hinders their ability to score. Anticipating the wrong play (or wasting your use of the Big Play button) leads to the opposing team running or passing farther than before.

Gridiron Solitaire Screenshot 2 from Steam Store

The Solitaire gameplay and tactical decisions are enhanced by a surprising level of simulation. This includes a database of weather profiles from hundreds of American and Canadian cities (introducing rain and snow to the game). Actual NFL Data is used to inform “CPU playcalling, field goal and punt distance/accuracy, and simmed stats/scores.”

This NFL data makes a huge difference. On the lowest difficulty, I haven’t seen the AI make an irrational decision yet–something even the great Madden series struggles to achieve.

Gridiron Solitaire Screenshot 5 from Steam Store

You can choose the name, colors and stadium of your team. This means you could theoretically recreate your favorite member of the NFL.

Despite the potential of being overly complex and swamped in jargon, Gridiron Solitaire requires surprisingly little knowledge of Football to understand the game. The included tutorial explains everything you need to know very quickly, which is great for those with little time or short attention spans.

What I truly love about Gridiron Solitaire are the little, easily overlooked touches that contribute to making a great experience.

After every match, you get a customized newspaper detailing your performance:

Gridiron Solitaire Screenshot 8 from Steam Store

Last Minute Misery
Lobsters steal win in final minutes, 30-28

For your convenience, the team statistics you base your decisions off of (mentioned above) are summed up in each pre-game “broadcast.”

Gridiron Solitaire Screenshot 7 from Steam Store

In between seasons, you get to manage how money is spent for new players. The areas of the team you bolster will improve, while those you ignore will deteriorate over time.

Gridiron Solitaire Screenshot 1 from Official Website

The game has also seen a number of updates since its release last year. As I write this, the developer is planning an extensive overhaul of the UI and artwork–even these screenshots come from a previous version of the game.

Conclusion:

Gridiron Solitaire somehow combines easygoing solitaire and high-stakes football to create an addictive gaming experience. The developer continues to support the game with patches/updates (including an upcoming planned expansion to overhaul the visuals).

I heartily recommend this title-even for those who have had limited experience with Football.

Potential Concerns:

None to my knowledge.

Buy Now! (Steam)

*This title was received for review/coverage. See our statement of ethics here and game review criteria here.
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*More reviews from Video Games and the Bible.

About Nelson

Writer, amateur #gamedev, and Founder o' Video Games and the Bible. My interviews bring the boys to the yard. Featured from Kotaku to Rock Paper Shotgun. Dropsy.
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