Do you like card games? More specifically, do you like solitaire? The answer to both questions is yes because any sane human being knows that card games are the best games and solitaire is the best of the best thanks in large part to a mountain's worth of different variations. Well, a brand new variation by the name of 4 Thrones has found its way to iOS and Android (sorry Windows Phone users) and it is one hell of a good time.
The basic setup for 4 Thrones is simple: you have four face-up cards on the top of the screen and, on the bottom, a face-up card next to a pile of face-down cards for drawing new cards. In the default mode, you have a random deck of fifty-two cards and need to place all the bottom cards on the top cards without discarding more than three cards. The game works low to high, with higher numbered cards being able to be placed on lower numbered cards and not vice versa--cards of equal value cannot be placed on one another either--except when Jacks, Queens, Kings, and Aces come into play; I could get into the nitty-gritty details, but an in-game tutorial does the job better than I ever could in roughly a minute, so just do that after you inevitably buy this game.
The other two modes are "Endless" and "Kings." Endless mode is pretty straightforward: it is default mode with no end until you discard more than three cards while receiving a new batch of three chances with every fifty cards cleared; Kings mode is a bit different and where the game shines, forcing you to keep Kings in play to score points and keep your multiplier going.
I have a love/hate relationship with Kings mode; I love the mode when I get Kings right away, but if I go through dozens of cards without seeing a King, knowing I still haven't scored a single point, I become extremely frustrated, but I am still unsure if this frustration is a bad thing. Ever since I first played Kings mode, I thought it might be a good idea to have each hand start with one King on the board so the player starts scoring points right from the beginning; but then, when I think about my time playing Kings mode and my frustration, I actually think it is a good bit of frustration because the longer I went without a King, the more motivated I became to show 4 Thrones who's boss--let the record show, I am the boss. It is a perfect, "One more game," mode and is just icing on an already delicious solitaire cake.
I love 4 Thrones. It does everything a solitaire game should do on mobile devices. It has beautiful, clean art that doesn't flood the eyes with too much going on--there are a handful of different themes for different tastes (I prefer Traditional because I'm boring); it is simple, yet complicated enough to allow for various strategies; and, best of all, it's just fun, in both short and extended play sessions. And if you're the competitive type, there are leaderboards for both Endless and Kings mode, and I won't give up my top spot in Kings mode without a fight. The greatest compliment I could give any game is buying it more than once and that is exactly what I did with 4 Thrones. At $0.99, 4 Thrones feels like a steal and is a must-buy for anyone of sane body and mind.
*4 Thrones is available now on iOS and Android for $0.99.