Christmas Solitaire 2, from Java card game specialist Butterfly Donuts, aims to bring a little bit of Christmas cheer to a game which is predominantly famous for being played on netbooks, when there are no other games within arms' reach.

While it's hard to begrudge it that noble aim, it's equally hard to recommend this dull and ultimately bog standard card game to anyone who already owns an actual pack of cards.

Pick a card

Upon startup Christmas Solitaire 2 presents you with an over-abundance of single-player card games to choose from, including Klondike, FreeCell, Spider, Pyramid, TriPeaks, Golf, Chinese, Yukon, and Spiderette.

If you know what any of these games entails then good for you - you may just enjoy Christmas Solitaire 2 a little more than the next elf.

If not, don't expect to learn how to play in any form of tutorial mode. The only form of help you'll be getting when presented with a neatly dealt gameboard of cards is a jarringly unhelpful 'help' screen.

At the start of a round of Pyramid, a game this reviewer has absolutely no knowledge of, the 'help' screen was kind enough to outline a 30 per cent chance of successfully solving the game.

It was also kind enough to tell me that Pyramid was based mostly on luck and that little skill was involved.

Thanks for that.

Yule not like it

In terms of functionality, the game works just fine. The controls, as could be expected in a card game, are neat and efficient, with a simple double-click on a card moving it to a potential position.

But there really is little incentive to continue playing. Once a game is over, much like in real life, that's it. You can always check your high scores, but it's missing any sense of progression.

Unlockable deck patterns or interchangeable backgrounds would have added a little brandy to the Christmas Solitaire 2 pudding.

Unless you absolutely love card games and have been looking for an excuse to sharpen your TriPeaks skills without having to physically deal out real life cards, then its unlikely you'll take anything from Christmas Solitaire 2 other than the nice Christmas card images in the background.