There are only so many ways a developer can rework a classic game to make it their own, particularly when it's a card game with well-established rules.
But that didn't stop the makers of Fancy Cats Solitaire from giving it a shot, by taking the well-known game of Solitaire and turning on its head with… cats.
That is to say, Fancy Cats Solitaire really is just the card game you know and potentially love, except the cards have cats on them, and there's really not a whole lot else to say. But let's have a go anyway.
Stray cat strut
Fancy Cats Solitaire sees you playing a game of Solitaire, and if you don't know the rules of the game, I won't bore you with a full description.
Essentially you need to sort a deck of cards into its suits, but you can only stack cards of different colours and descending order on top of each other as you're sorting them.
There is one neat addition – you have a choice of playing on Easy or Hard mode, so if you've never played the game before – either in real life or shortly after starting up a new Windows PC – then you've got a chance to get the hang of things a little better.
Easy mode deals cards out from the deck one at a time, giving you every opportunity to get all the cars into the stacks without too much fuss.
Hard mode, however, deals cards out in the traditional, three-at-a-time way, with only the last card available for moving, so you'll have to cycle through the deck more often than before.
To give it that "fancy cats" feel, the cards have cats on them, usually with some sort of "fancy" attire such as a bowtie to add a bit of whimsy to proceedings.
But that is honestly all that the game offers to mix up the Solitaire formula, and let's be honest, you can put a cat in any card game and the only thing that changes is that players sometimes say "aww" as the play.
And its core gameplay loop is far too simple. Once you finish your game, win or lose, the game boots you straight back to the difficulty choice menu and has you start the whole thing over again.
There's no progression of any kind, no unlocks to spruce up your decks at all, and the only thing that breaks up the gameplay is the occasional screen-filling ad between rounds.
Ultimately, if you like a quick game of Solitaire in your spare time, and you also happen to like dapper felines, then Fancy Cats Solitaire is the game for you.
It's a competent card game that helps newcomers with an Easy mode while still catering for the old-school crowd, and there's nothing wrong with that.
But if you hoped that the games' fancy cats were anything more than a surface-level addition, you'll be sorely disappointed.