Most DGames grow slow and steady. Through time and effort, they grow their player base from no one to a few dozen, perhaps a few hundred dedicated players. Other DGames burst out of the starting blocks and are incredibly popular from the moment they launch. CryptoKitties was one such example. It launched in November 2017 and became the most popular DGame in existence in the span of a single month.
Solitaire Duel is another such example. We weren’t planning to review this game, until we saw it climb the rankings in almost no time, quickly becoming the third-most-played DGame in the DGaming Store, after EOS Dynasty and EOS Knights. This game has momentum behind it, and it shows no signs of slowing down.
You’ve probably guessed from the name, but Solitaire Duel is a Solitaire game on the EOS blockchain where you duel other players. The game launched on the 8th of May and is being developed by the Neowiz Play Studio Blockchain Lab, or NBLab, a Korean game development company.
Before Playing the Game
In order to play the game, you’ll need to log in first. If you’re visiting their website from a PC or laptop, you’ll need the EOS wallet Scatter for this. Your Scatter wallet needs to be loaded with some EOS too. If you have Scatter installed, all you need to do is launch the app and click login. The app does the rest. It’s fairly straightforward.
You can also play Solitaire Duel on mobile. I was a bit confused by this at first, because I thought the game was available as an app on the iOS / Android stores. I tried to find it between the many different Solitaire apps you can download. In vain, because Solitaire Duel doesn’t have an app. Instead, you just visit their website, which is perfectly optimized for mobile. It connects to TokenPocket, the same wallet you need for EOS Dynasty.
TokenPocket costs $4 to activate, which is a bit of a bummer, but it worked wonderfully well for EOS Dynasty and it works like a charm for Solitaire Duel too. The game doesn’t play from your mobile web browser, but from TokenPocket itself. I much prefer gaming this way over having to download an app and even over playing on a PC or laptop. I found playing Solitaire Duel on my phone much more fun than playing it on my laptop. It’s a perfect game to play in the small moments of the day, when you don’t have immediate access to your laptop or PC.
Playing Solitaire Duel
Let me start off by saying that I didn’t know how to play Solitaire until I had to review Solitaire Duel. Luckily, the age-old card game is very easy to learn. It’s also incredibly addictive. I played Solitaire Duel for much longer than I had to in order to write this review, because I couldn’t stop playing. This is an excellent DGame. Playing it makes you understand why it became so popular so quickly.
To those who don’t know how to play Solitaire, let me explain the rules: the most common variant of Solitaire is called Klondike Solitaire, which is what you’ll play in Solitaire Duel. There are three separate parts in the game: the tableau, the foundations, and the stock pile.
The tableau consists of seven separate piles of cards displayed at the bottom of the above screenshot. The foundations are the four separate piles you see top left, and the stock pile is the deck of cards and the few flipped cards top right.
The aim of the game is to build up the four separate foundation piles from the ace of each suit all the way up to the king of each suit. You can only ever lay the next highest card on its respective suit. For example, in the above screenshot, I can lay a deuce on the ace of hearts, a deuce on the ace of diamonds, a three on the deuce of clubs, and the ace of spades on the open spot.
On the tableau, you’ll only ever see the first card of each of the separate piles. On these piles, you can lay a card in a different color that’s one lower than the face-up card. For example, on the above screenshot, I can lay a black Queen on the left-most pile with the red King. One pile to the right, I can lay a red Queen on the black King. Next to that, a black four on the red five, and so on…
You can also move entire stacks of flipped cards from one pile to another. For example, if I had a black Queen on the red King on the left-most pile, I could move the right-most pile, with the black Joker, onto the left-most pile. This would free up a new card on the right-most pile and open up my options to move around cards.
If you run out of moves, you can use the stock pile in the top-right. The games in Solitaire Duel vary between one card flips and three card flips. Three card flips are harder games, because you go through your stock pile much faster (three cards at a time versus one card). In Solitaire Duel, you can go through your whole stock pile three times before you start losing points (-20 for each next time you go through the pile).
Because you’re playing against an opponent in Solitaire Duel, the game plays out somewhat differently than a regular game of Solitaire. You and your opponent are each given five minutes to earn as many points as possible. You earn seventy points by laying a card on one of the foundation piles and twenty points by moving a card from your stock pile to the tableau.
This already makes for a tense and addictive game. What makes it even more addictive is the fact that you’re playing for real money too. And, depending on which channel you play on, you can play for a nice amount of money too. There are five channels in Solitaire Duel: wood, bronze, silver, gold, and diamond. Entry fees for each channel are 0.0006, 0.003, 0.12, 0.3, and 1.2 EOS respectively. In today’s EOS price of $7.20, that’s the equivalent of $0.004, $0.02, $0.86, $2.16 and $8.64.
If you win your game, you’ll win 0.001 ($0.007), 0.05 ($0.36), 0.2 ($1.44), 0.5 ($3.6), or 2 EOS ($14.4). That’s a great return on your investment percentage-wise. I love that you can play for such little money too. Not everyone immediately wants to play for a lot of money, particularly not when you’re still getting familiar with the game.
Additionally, if you play in the silver, gold, or diamond channels, you’ll receive 8, 20, or 80 Solit tokens in return, just for your participation. You can use Solit to pay the entry fee instead of having to pay EOS. For example, I played a silver game and received 8 Solit tokens in return. It costs 6 Solit tokens to play a game on the wooden channel, so I basically played a game without having to pay an EOS entry fee.
If you win a silver, gold, or diamond game, however, you’ll receive 300, 750, or 3,500 Solit tokens in return. You receive these additional Solit tokens only because the game just launched and is still holding its “grand opening.” I don’t know how long that’ll last, but it’s a great way to encourage users to play in those channels (and spend EOS in the process).
I thoroughly enjoyed playing Solitaire Duel on my mobile. It’s well-made, doesn’t costs a lot of money, easy to play, and I never had to wait longer than a few seconds to find a match. Of course, many of my opponents were very good, and I lost most of the games I played, but that only added to my eagerness to learn some of the strategies to get better at Solitaire.
Judging from the front page, it also seems that NBLab has more games up its sleeve. There’s a chess game coming soon, which I can imagine will be another excellent and addictive addition to their gaming ecosystem.
NBLab has found a winning formula. It uses blockchain technology to create a compelling reason for people to play an already addictive game. No longer do you have to rely on chance to earn money with DGames. Solitaire Duel is a game of skill. The better you get, the more likely you’ll earn money. It won’t earn you hundreds of dollars, but the diamond channel gives the possibility to earn good money still.