|Developer(s)||Big Fish Studios|
|Publisher(s)||Big Fish Games|
|Release date(s)||PC/Mac December 2007; iPhone March 2012; iPad (HD) March 2012|
Fairway Solitaire is an award-winning casual video game based on the classic card game solitaire and developed by Big Fish Studios. The game is digitally distributed and is available from Big Fish Games. A demo of the game was also released. Both the demo and the full version include a Daily Challenge option where players can play up to three limited edition courses, and trophies and Golf Bucks are awarded for participants in the Daily Challenges.
Originally designed by John Cutter of Big Fish Games, Fairway Solitaire is built in the Blitz programming environment and was initially developed by Grey Alien Games and published by Big Fish Games, before being completely redesigned by Big Fish Studios. The mobile versions of the game were developed entirely by Big Fish Studios in Seattle, WA. Fairway Solitaire is playable on Windows 8, Windows Phone, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle Fire, Mac, and PC.
The development team at Big Fish Studios sometimes uses Fairway Solitaire to celebrate important events in lives of the team members. For instance, when one of the members got married, the Daily Challenges were all wedding-themed. When another member had a baby, the Daily Challenges were baby-themed.
Inspired by Caddyshack, Fairway Solitaire presents players with a modified type of solitaire with a golf theme. In the game, players use golf clubs and playing cards to clear the table. The goal in Fairway Solitaire is to play through a collection of 70 courses with each course offering a different type of challenge. Once the challenge is met, the next course is unlocked and the player advances in the tournament. Players may be awarded trophies for accomplishing various tasks. Often they are rewarded along with in-game cash or prizes. In addition to the main tournament, daily challenges are available for players to win trophies. Players' scores are recorded and ranked against all other players on the same platform. Additionally, statistics are kept for each player and trophies are awarded for predefined achievements. Adding to the challenge of the game is a gopher, known as Gutsy McDivot, who will stop at nothing to get revenge on the golfers who killed his ancestor, Bravetooth. As the player progresses, cutscenes are shown of McDivot making a contraption he dubs the "Golfinator".
Each Fairway Solitaire course offers water hazards and sand traps. Water hazards are special water cards which must be cleared from the board before the cards to its right are revealed. Sand traps are sand cards which are not revealed until the 'sand wedge' card is uncovered. Occasionally, a player will reveal an iron card. Iron cards have a specific golf club on them and act as magic playing cards without breaking the current drive. A person may play a club at any time to continue adding to a long drive. The clubs are restricted to the 2-9 irons. During Fairway Solitaire game play, wild cards are randomly revealed. One may choose to randomly select an event or pay to skip the risk. The cost to skip is either two cards or $300. These wild cards offer varying opportunities and challenges.
The Fairway Solitaire Club House has a golf shop wherein players can purchase equipment to help them during tournament play. The equipment assists the player during actual game play or during wild card play. Items may vary depending on gender. Handicaps which improve a player's performance on a course can be purchased in the shop with Golf bucks, an in-game currency that is earned through gameplay. Golf bucks can also be used to purchase additional courses for the game.
Sample of the Items available:
- "Eye Can't Miss" Glasses - slows down the Putting Contest arrow.
- Head Down Trainer - slows down the Long Drive contest arrow.
- Mulligan Card - adds 1 extra Mulligan per hole.
- Find Time Watch - slows down the Lost Ball mini game.
- Flower Power Herbal Drink - increases Long Drive Contest distances by 25%.
- Iron Factory - allows re-purchasing of irons after just 1 hole.
- "Flick of the Wrist" Book - flips over half the face-down cards at the start of every hole.
- Head Start Cereal - Starts every hole with 10 Golf Bucks on the Great Shot meter.
- Munch Ease Weed Eater - removes one playable rough card every hole.
- Deal Maker Book - discounts all Golf Buck items in the Golf Shop.
- Gopher Repellent - reduces gopher Wild Shot appearances by 50%.
In 2011, Big Fish Games released Fairway, the sequel to Fairway Solitaire as well as Fairway Fever, a version of the game designed to be played on Facebook. Fairway Fever was pulled from Facebook and moved back to development at Big Fish Studios. The Studio released a redesigned version on iOS in November of 2012 in Canada. According to their Facebook page, the Canadian release is a test for a worldwide launch.
As of July 2013, Fairway Solitaire has not released its sequel, Fairway Fever, worldwide. Many believe that there will be many more significant changes to the game that was seen in Canada prior to its launch.
Awards and Mentions
- Fairway Solitaire a finalist for the 1st annual Tabby Awards
- Fairway Solitaire won IMGA's Excellence in Gameplay 2013
- IGN nominated Fairway Solitaire as one of the five Best Mobile Board Games of 2012
- Fairway Solitaire a finalist for Best Mobile Game and Best Casual Game by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences
- #17 of the 25 Best iPhone Games on GamesRadar
- #16 of the 25 Best Android Games on GamesRadar
- Pixelated Sausage selects Fairway Solitaire as Game of the Year 2012
- JayIsGames.com selected Fairway Solitaire as one of the Top Five Best of 2012
- Fairway Solitaire nominated for IMGA's Excellence in Gameplay
- Inside Mac Games Review: Fairway Solitaire 9.25/10
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