The rise of mobile gaming combined with Microsoft’s decision last year to charge users for the Windows 10 version led to the popular game falling out of fashion. But the classic Solitaire is back, and it is available on iOS and Android. Microsoft has launched a new app called Solitaire Collection, which is free to download and contains classic card games such as Klondike, Spider and Freecell.
Microsoft has retained features of the classic game, including the shuffling sounds and characteristic jumping of the cards when a player wins. The app, which works on tablets and mobile devices, features daily challenges in all games with four difficulty levels. It has Xbox Live integration to give more serious players access to multi-player games, competitions and rewards.
Those who already play Solitaire on a Windows device will be able to sync their accounts and build their score across multiple handsets and computers.
There is also a Premium Edition available for $1.99 (£1.60) a month that does not include adverts and has some added features. Microsoft said the upgraded version of the game will be free for the next month “to celebrate our worldwide launch”.
The launch marks the first time that the 25-year-old game is available on operating systems other than Windows. Other Solitaire games have been available in the Google Play store and App Store for some time, but Microsoft is betting that Solitaire Collection can win back Windows’ loyal following.
Microsoft bills its Solitaire as the “world’s number one” version. It has been played by more than 119 million people on Windows 8 and Windows 10 computers.