Where To Get It: Steam
You can’t please everyone all the time. This is the main thought running through my head as I look at Faerie Solitaire: Harvest, a sequel which has, at release at least, cut the story, cut the purchasing of building aspects, and made pets a little more accesible, but confusingly.
The thing is, its core is still solid, and its soundtrack is really bloody good. So these things shouldn’t matter so much. But it does, nonetheless, feel odd.
Okay, so, last time on Faerie Solitaire, faeries got trapped by an evil wizard (That you were apprenticed to) with layered cards in patterns you got rid of by going up and down the ranks of the cards (With help from powerups and the bottom deck, which could only be shuffled a certain amount of times.) Big combos were good, individual levels had tasks, there was a lot going on, but, at its core, was one particular solitaire variant.
Now, the faeries are again trapped, but somewhere else and by ??? , with the plucky young ??? to save them by matching pairs of the same rank, and, preferably for combos, the same colour, with the aid of the bottom deck, an ability (Wild Cards earned with combos), and, as before, there’s only a limited amount of reshuffles (One, either free, or due to paying 1000 of the ingame currency.) As noted, the core is solid, with exactly the benefits and problems you would expect from a solitaire game. For example, Oh look, the two cards you need to match are directly under each other, and you did not know this. Sod. Well, that happens sometimes, fine.
On the one hand, I can definitely say it doesn’t stint on that Solitaire part. 40 areas, each with 9 levels, and increasingly devilish layouts. That’s the good stuff for someone who likes Solitaire, right there. But, alas, this isn’t just about this Faerie Solitaire, as, as noted, Harvest feels somewhat stripped down compared to its predecessor. A fair bit of that, to be honest, was bloat, trying to add more interest, and not always succeeding. But since some things have changed and others haven’t as much, it ends up feeling a little hollower than its predecessor.
Let’s take the currency of the game, pets, and resources, for example. It’s nice that, if you liked baby pets more, you can switch between baby pet and adult pet forms at will. That’s nice. But, beyond this and a little urge to completionism, with 32 pets to grow from eggs (By playing) and evolve (By playing and gaining resources), there’s… No real reason for them, or the resources. The main currency of the game also buys two of the abilities, an extra card slot, and a reshuffle if you hadn’t managed to land a BIG COMBO to get a free reshuffle. That’s… Er… It. And it is needed when layouts get meaner…
…But, with these cuts, what you have is a pretty solitaire game with some knobs on, and a soundtrack that feels like it comes from an epic JRPG. If this is what you expect coming in, then you’re good. Having played the predecessor, I felt, as noted… A little odd.
The Mad Welshman always feels a little forlorn when a sequel strips things. Even if it makes sense. And he’s aware this isn’t a great feel.
…Doesn’t stop him feeling it, though.