Today, let’s be thankful we can remember a time when Microsoft’s Solitaire wasn’t rubbish

By Brenna Hillier, Thursday, 24 November 2016 23:21 GMT

Microsoft’s Solitaire is now available on an Apple platform, in case you had any doubts that these are the End Times.

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Microsoft has announced the arrival of its famous version of Solitaire on Android and iOS. Since the world of video game news has fallen into its annual torpor, and I, the Australian on staff, am still required to come to work, this is what we’re talking about today.

Cats: Solitaire on Windows 10 is bullshit, and this really upsets me. It’s not something I think about every day, because I need those neural resources to worry about politics and cancer, but whenever I remember it I gnash my teeth alarmingly. Let’s run down its many faults.

Fault 1: it’s an app now
Microsoft Solitaire doesn’t come pre-installed on Windows 10 as system software, breaking a cherished Windows tradition. It’s an app you have to download from the Windows 10 Store, which means you have to look at the Windows 10 Store, itself a crime. Remember all those years of sneakily getting into Solitaire even when the school or work admins were pretty sure they’d managed to hide all non-productive software? So many hours of sanity reclaimed, now denied to future generations.

Fault 2: it has ads in it
Solitaire has ads in it now. Between games you’ll have to sit through some nonsense from Microsoft’s extended family of rubbish free-to-play titles. You have to pay to get rid of them. Piss off.

Fault 3: it has microtransactions and they’re intrusive
Almost every time you lose a game, Microsoft’s like “oh HEY want to give us some MONEY so you don’t LOSE you big LOSER”. You’re supposed to lose Solitaire regularly! It’s statistics! Bugger off with your pop-ups, Solitaire.

Fault 4: it’s psychologically manipulative
Every day, Microsoft sends you a handful of challenges. Some of them are insultingly easy, and others are almost impossible. Completing one earns you points, and completing every challenge on a particular day nets you an amount of points that makes the initial prize look feeble. Log in every day, and you can earn enough points to get a monthly rating. This is straight out of Make Gamers Addicted To Your Bullshit Microtransaction Ridden Corpse of a Product 101, and I have no doubt it is exquisitely balanced and tuned to extract the maximum amount of milk from you with the minimum of moo.

Fault 5: you have to log into it with your Microsoft ID
Even though I use it for Skype and Xbox Live, I cannot remember my stupid Microsoft ID, let alone the password for it, and I resented having to dig it out in order to play Solitaire. To be fair, this is a fault across a lot of Windows 10 products: Windows 10 installed itself against my will and then changed my desktop log-in to my Microsoft ID, barring me from my own hardware in my own house with two-factor authentication.

Fault 6: it takes forever to log in to Xbox Live
I have a surprisingly robust ADSL connection for rural Australia, and I can log into Steam and the PSN in half a breath. Why does it take painful seconds of boredom to get Solitaire started while Microsoft ensures it can tell my three Xbox Live buddies that I’m not actually doing any work today?

Fault 7: it’s not lightweight
This is actually my main complaint. Cynically, I’m resigned to everything above as a product of our horrible times. But the fact that I cannot expect to run Solitaire even when the rest of my system is stressed beyond endurance is unforgivable. Solitaire is what you do when your system is half-melting and you need to sit and let it chug away with its tasks for a bit. It’s what you do while you wait for a crashing app to respond to task manager’s force close command. Not any more! If you alt-tab to Solitaire from a demanding game everything throws a fit. Unacceptable.

Anyway, if you can live with all this, hooray, Microsoft Solitaire Collection is now mobile, too. Go for your life.

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