Fairway Solitaire by Big Fish Review

By , on March 8, 2012

Fairway Solitaire by Big Fish
Download on the AppStore
5 out of 5


  • The game defies initial expectations.
  • With its animated cut-scenes and golf commentary, there is a great sense of humor on display.
  • Deep gameplay off such a simple puzzle concept, and the content to back it up.


  • They hook you with the first course set for free (not that entry is too expensive, but it's the principle).


This title has an incredible well of polish and content that sucks you in with its simple gameplay and doesn't let go. A must for fans of puzzle games, card games, and lovers of animated gophers.

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When starting up a game called Fairway Solitaire, the name suggests a lot. “OK”, you think. “Somehow they've combined solitaire with golf. This should be interesting”. Then you're hit with a cheerfully animated introduction about the age old war between golf and gophers before being thrown into a puzzle game with not only intriguing mechanics, but plenty of personality.

Not every course in this game (and there are many on offer) is eighteen holes, but the basic goal is the same. You want to finish each hole with a score of par or under. This is where the golf comparisons end and solitaire begins. Every hole has a layout of cards that are hiding stacks of other cards. Down the bottom you have your play stack and the hole is over once that stack has been used. The rules of solitaire have been changed a little as all you need to do to remove the cards on the field is tap cards that are either one higher or one lower than the card currently in your play stack. Each successive card you tap creates a chain combo and if you can fill the combo meter at the top of the screen before having to turn over the next play stack card, you gain a bonus of one thousand golf bucks!

Golf Bucks are the de facto currency in this world, buying you upgrades, but most importantly they can be used to supplement a combo that's run out of steam. Nowhere to go with your next move? Simply open up your golf bag, pay a nominal fee, choose the appropriate iron, and lo and behold, your combo continues, filled with new life. The game starts with only irons available, but additional clubs can be purchased as well.

Now Fairway Solitaire is a little insidious. The game is free, but it only includes the first course pack. The problem is that after playing the first pack, you'll easily pay the paltry fee to unlock the rest of the game. It's a good deal too, with countless courses to gain three stars on, a continuing narrative of an evil gopher told in animated cut-scenes, colorful commentators narrating your play, trophies and a whole host of unlocks, the content alone of this title is dizzying. Luckily it's based on a simple, clever, and addictive puzzle game. This one's easy to recommend.


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