Monday, February 10, 2014

Gridiron Solitaire Gameplay Review

I'm playing Gridiron Solitaire, a card-based sports game by Bill and Eli Productions.

Starting a new league allows you to select from a roster of teams with different ratings that affect in-game events. An offseason free agency period allows you to increase (or decrease) these ratings through player acquisition. The offense must gain forty yards each set of downs. The first step is to select a run or pass play: guessing correctly on offense nets an additional card slot, while guessing correctly on defense limits the maximum number of yards the computer can gain during the down. The AI does an acceptable job picking “run” or “pass” based on the current game situation. The basic mechanic is matching cards: you must match two oppositely-colored cards that are one numeral different. Doing so on offense will gain four more yards on a running play or eight more yards (after two successful matches) on a passing play. If you are on defense, getting a match decreases the number of yards the AI gains by two. You can end the play at any time once you run out of matches and accept the current result, or resort to the big play, which either grants an additional card to match or spawns an event (like a turnover or big pass). The card matching mechanic lacks strategy and relies on luck, although this is slightly mitigated by the tactical use of big plays. An alternative to more traditional American football, Gridiron Solitaire’s reliance on luck over strategy obscures a unique approach to the game.