Solitaire Craving


NoahWhile free web-based challenges to Microsoft's wide range of productivity software have almost become commonplace (see: Google Spreadsheets, Writely), their enormously popular anti-productivity software (See: Minesweeper, Solitaire) have remained relatively safe... Until now.

solitaire_craving.gifIn a single month, two shots have been fired across Microsoft's Programs / Acessories / Games bow. First came Gminesweeper, an almost fully functioning parody of Minesweeper. Now Adam Lyttle has released Solitaire Craving and, although he claims it is still undergoing beta testing, the flawless AJAX implementation and ingenious community-based design is sure to please solitaire addicts worldwide.

Solitaire Craving uses a Klondike variation, the rules of which are summarized here. Every day a new challenge is randomly generated and made available on the site. After completing the game users have the option to assign a difficulty level which, averaged with the input of all the other users, determines whether the game is archived as an Easy, Medium or Difficult challenge. This ranking system is reminiscent of projects like Peekaboom or The ESP Game and could actually end up helping to determine the percentage of unbeatable Klondike games (however, considering the vast number of decks available, this would still take quite some time).

Analysis: Solitaire Craving's interface is clean, smooth and easy to use, but the real draw is the emphasis Lyttle has placed on community features. Each game has a comments section, and a site-wide ranking system keeps track of each user's number of moves made and total time spent playing. As the site has been online for a little over a week the user base is still developing, but is likely to expand rapidly as word spreads about this fantastic free version of one of the world's most popular card games.

Play Solitaire Craving

27 Comments

This is quite poor. When I play, the cards in the deck pop up under each other, and sometimes cards simply won't stack, making it simply unplayable.

I did not experience the problems you mentioned, Crab. The game is quite playable on my Mac Powerbook G4, running Mac OS X 10.3.9 and Firefox 1.5.0.4.

The only downside I could see, and it's a relatively minor complaint, is that there is a slight lag between when I click on a stack to move and when it actually does move. A Javascript issue, no doubt.

Overall, an excellent AJAX implementation for a very addicitive casual game with community features to boot. Nice find, Noah! =)

Arrg... the cards won't always stack when i try to get them to.

hey Jay... the javascript:craving() link generates a JavaScript error in IE, at least on my computer. Works fine in Firefox though.

I'm also using Firefox and haven't experienced any of the problems mentioned by Crab and zeldafreak either. I did occasionally notice a bit of lag, especially when the playing field expanded to compensate for longer and longer stacks.

What browsers are you guys having trouble with?

for some reason, when i click the solitaire craving link, nothing happens. so i had to click on the "here" where they explain the rules ..

maybe it's just me?

The only problem I'm having is my own failure to play a full game of solitaire without needing to swallow a whole bottle of asprin. Boy, does it make my head hurt..

Otherwise, it's nice, clean, and pretty convenient. I'll probably be sending this to my bigger-brained friends.

Sorry for the problems in IE, it should be fixed now. It was a little typo in this entry's code.

And for those who are still using IE, get a better browser for gosh sakes(!)

oo .. nvm it works! :)

oh by the way, i don't really understand what's so special about this game. it's .. normal. i'd prefer the solitaire on my computer because it's not so laggy.

I'm having the same trouble as zeldafreak. I'm using firefox, but the cards sometimes go underneath the others instead of on top and won't stack. :( And I love solitaire!!

Nothing beats Slingo Golf Solitaire though :]

yea, im having the same problem too.

and i hate to say it, but i disagree with you, these arent the first replicas of these games and they definitly arent quite as good as microsofts.

I'm sorry that so many people are having trouble! Hopefully the creator of SC will stop by and offer some insight into what may be the cause of the difficulties.

Incidentally, I never claimed these were the first OR best replicas of solitaire or minesweeper, though in my limited experience Solitiare Craving is the best digital klondike game I've played (when it is working properly). Nothing beats an IRL deck of cards, of course.. =]

Thanks for the excellent review Noah.

I'm surprised to see so many people having issues with the game, as Noah pointed out the game has only been online for a few weeks and is still in its beta phase.

This is the first time I've seen the card underlaying issue with the game. It was developed and tested using Firefox, so it's surprising to see some Firefox users experiencing these problems. I would be interested to know which version of Firefox (or other browsers) people are using. You can typically find the appropriate information by clicking "Help > About".

You can contact me directly at me@adamlyttle.com or post a comment here, I will regularly come back to check any additional comments.

The Solitaire Craving users list had a bit of a surge since I last checked (no doubt attributed to this fine article), for those who created an account and joined, thanks for playing!

I played the game and had no problems like some have mentioned, on Firefox. The game didn't lag at all, but I didn't like it as much because I tend to use my right click "cheat" a lot in the Solitaire on my computer ;)
Beat this one though.

I'm using Firefox on Windows, and the problem seems to be a) the deck cards pop under and b) cards cannot be placed on cards further down in the stack from themselves. To illustrate:

2 _ _ _ _ _ _
3 _ _ _ _ _
9 _ _ _ _
8 _ _ _
3 _ _
Q _
K

Would let me move 8 to 9, but not 2 to 3 or Q to K.

Since updating Firefox to 1.5.0.4, I've no longer seen the problems. Decent version, though I prefer 3-card.

adam, version info is
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv:1.8.0.3) Gecko/20060426 Firefox/1.5.0.3
and I've been having those stacking probs.

I just updated to 1.5.0.4... still having the stacking problem, sometimes cards just won't stack!

Oh whoops, i'm tired i was trying to stack cards that arn't supposed to be stacked >_

So I just signed up for a typekey membership...anywho I also use firefox, and am experiencing the cards stacking underneath other cards making it impossible to play! I hope this problem soon gets fixed because I love me some solitare!

I am also having stacking problems in Firefox 1.0.7.

I would like to inform you all that it unfortunately works perfectly fine with IE.

My name on the game is Kevin Haralson.

Just like solitaire, a heart without love plays a lonely game.

at the end i was out of control! literally. the computer started playing. also i don't like how the cards don't auomatically flip over.

The computer will finish the game by playing the rest of the cards to the foundations, if every card has been revealed and there are none left in the deck. If you're trying to get a low time, any moves done during this finish are considered to take no time at all.

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