There are plenty of puzzle games that mix things up with RPG elements, tossing you into a scrap where the things you match or the words you make turn into attacks.
Solitairica takes a similar approach but with patience. It's the classic solo card game but with a Dungeons and Dragons twist. And it all works surprisingly well.
There's still the very real danger that a bum hand can end a decent run, but the game keeps things fresh and fair with some impressive ideas.
The game is all about clearing cards. You've got a deck at the bottom with one card showing, then a series of cards in stacks at the top. You move cards from the top and clear them by putting them on a card in your hand that's one step higher or lower.
Yes, I did just explain how solitaire works. The twist here is that you've got a series of different energies at your disposal as well.
These come from the cards themselves, and you can use them to cast spells. The deeper you get into the game the more spells you unlock.
Some of these are offensive, some are defensive, some heal your hit points, and others let you glimpse at cards deeper into the deck.Carded
Every time you flip over a new card from your deck, the monster you're fighting gets a chance to attack you. They have their own deck of cards, some that strike you instantly, others that take a number of turns before they're deployed.
Sometimes the game slows down towards the end of a round, especially when you're trying to clear just a couple of cards and your deck isn't being kind to you.
But this is where your special moves come in. Hack away at cards with an offensive spell and you'll be moving on to the next level in no time flat.
Every time you're defeated you get dropped back to the start of the game, albeit with some extra currency to spend on trying to toughen up. There are extra decks to unlock as well.
All in all this is an interesting and engaging smooshing together of ideas that works remarkably well. I can honestly say this is the first time I've enjoyed a game of solitaire in a good long while.
There are a few niggles, but this is still a surprisingly deep mixture of genres and ideas that's well worth checking out.