Summer cleaning game review special #3: Radical Solitaire

Does that screen hurt your eyes? Well it did mine. This is Radical Solitaire, another game in that itch.io bundle. You might be wondering what’s so special about a solitaire game, especially one released this year (and not in 1982 as developer Vector Hat claims, the liar!) And especially one that at first doesn’t look that different from the standard game of Klondike that has come with every version of Windows since the dark ages, aside from having a title screen that changes to different eye-destroying color schemes every ten seconds.

Well, there are a few differences. The only reason I decided to check Radical Solitaire out among the many games in that bundle was that it claimed to be different in its tagline, which makes the promise: “never a bad deal, always a RAD DEAL!” So I downloaded it to see what was so rad about this solitaire game.

This deal doesn’t look that fucking rad to me

At first it just seemed like a regular game of Klondike with some weird sound effects, something like a robotic yelp every time I uncovered a new card. However, when I got stuck in my game, I went over to the GET RAD button. Clicking it didn’t do anything, but dragging an upturned card to it did:

Yes, this is a Klondike/Breakout hybrid. Any time you’re stuck, you can drag a useless card to that GET RAD button and play a game of Breakout to change it out for any still-hidden card. Every time one of the balls breaks through and hits the card, it changes, and each game can get quite chaotic — new balls are embedded in the wall and can be broken out and used to hit the card as well. There’s no guarantee that the card you’ll end up with at the end of your Breakout game will be useful, but you can play new games of Breakout as many times as you want to get something you can use. Hell, you can just play Breakout all day if you want. Radical Solitaire doesn’t seem to care if you ignore the solitaire part of it.

It’s definitely an interesting combination, and I think the basic idea works. The fucking color schemes still hurt my eyes, though to be fair the game does at least provide a night mode if you’re up playing this at 3 am. As for whether I’d recommend it, I don’t know. If the weird colors don’t bother you and you’re a huge fan of both solitaire and Breakout, you’ll probably like this. If not, it’s probably not for you. If it were free I’d say try it out either way just to experience how strange it is, but it does normally cost three dollars, so whether you want to spend that money is up to you (and if you have epilepsy, I guess you should be careful — I’m not sure how the flashing lights issue works, but this game does have those, though it looks like they can be turned off.) In any case, next time I’ll look at a game that hopefully won’t give me eyestrain.

9 thoughts on “Summer cleaning game review special #3: Radical Solitaire

  1. That looks interesting! I’m a fan of both Breakout and Solitaire, even though I absolutely suck at the latter. Maybe I can win for once now 🙂

  2. That’s a pretty interesting way to combine two games and their gameplay. The only problem I see is that after a while it can get tedious if you have to rely on Breakout as a loophole to win, and not to mention the color scheme looks like if someone played solitaire while on drugs. Not that I’d recommend it…

    • Yeah, can’t say I’ve ever tried that before myself. The Breakout does get old for me too, especially if I’m unlucky and have to play several times in a row to progress.

  3. As soon as you posted the name of this game, I immediately guessed it was from the 1980s because that is the most 1980s name I’ve seen for a game (well, that and Rad Racer). It does offer one solution I wished games like Solitaire had wherein if you’re dealt a bad hand, you can just hit the bad card until it turns into an actual useful one. Why hasn’t any other card game maker thought of that?

    • I do get that weird 80s feel from this game that seems to be still a bit popular with stuff like vaporwave and city pop. Not that this has anything to do with that, it’s just a feeling.

      It is strange that we haven’t come across anything else that mixes Solitaire with another mechanic to get the player unstuck from a lost game. Maybe Microsoft should take a hint from that to make their next version of the game more exciting.

  4. Wow those visuals are garish. like the Atari, but filled with pure liquid hatred for your eyes.

    It does sound like a neat little curio, but one I wouldn’t imagine getting much play after checking it out. If I were in the mood for Breakout and Solitaire, I’d just play Breakout followed by Solitaire. I could be missing something, but it doesn’t sound like the two really have much to add to each other.

    • I see your point there. They play together pretty well here, but it’s not like the two games have much to do with each other. You could just as easily combine Solitaire with a vertical shooter or something.

      I still don’t really get the idea behind the eye-destroying colors. For me this is mainly what makes the game hard to play.

  5. Pingback: July 2020 in Summary: Drought | Extra Life

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