Microsoft Solitaire Collection breaks new ground for Xbox LIVE, being, I think, the first game that breaks the existing multiples system of gamerscore. Previously all games had been 50, 200, 400 or 1000G, with DLC providing an extra 250G for AAA releases or 50G for arcade titles. Minesweeper introduces a new 25G boundary, but it seems that Solitaire introduces a new, more random, 40G one.
Solitaire comes with a number of different ‘skins’ to shake things up a little, but the gameplay remains traditional Solitaire.
I’m sure Microsoft have their reasons for this but I cannot think of any. When releasing free Xbox LIVE games like Minesweeper and Sudoku on Windows Phone they kept to a simple 50G achievement system and it worked well, so it’s odd to see 25G and 40G games introduced even as they follow more or less the exact same system of achievements, medals and daily challenges. If anything, it’s the lack of consistency without apparent reasoning that is maddening.
Nonetheless, as a package this solitaire collection is pretty good, certainly better than previous releases bundled with Windows. You can choose from five different types of solitaire to play. People will probably be most familiar with Freecell, but you can also play Klondike, Pyramid, Tripeaks and Spider.