Solitaire for Two
Your Price: $30.00
(Worth 3,000 Funagain Points!)
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"[A]n addictive game that surpasses all of the solitaire variants that I've tried over the years ... [I]t would be a wonderful gift for anyone that has ever enjoyed a game of solitaire." -- Steve Ellis, Rainy Day Games
If you know how to play "Solitaire" with a deck of cards, then you already know how to play Solitaire for Two! We've taken the game you know and added 2 new suits, 3 jokers, a scoring system, and made it possible to play with 2, 3, and 4 players. As a result, a great game got even better!
Six-Suit Solitaire and Solitaire for Two are played with tiles instead of cards. These games have many new features and they're loaded with much more action than the original game. These new games will entertain you by yourself with Six-Suit Solitaire or with 1, 2, or 3 friends playing Solitaire for Two for many, many hours.
The 81 high-quality plastic tiles contained in this box can be used in place of a "normal" deck of 52 cards, thus allowing you to play many of your favorite card games with tiles.
Joli Quentin Kansil
Players: 1 - 4
Time: 30 - 45 minutes
Est. time to learn: Under 5 minutes
Weight: 832 grams
Language Requirements: This is a domestic item. Manufacturer's rules are printed in English. Game components are printed in English.
Average Rating: 4.6 in 6 reviews
Yes, the price tag is steep, but this solitaire game is so beautifully made and the tweaks so inventive and fun that it's worth the extra dollars. The game includes three colors instead of red, and jokers add a whole other level to the strategy. As for the construction, it's elegantly designed with all wood pieces and wood tiles, and looks like something that will last forever. This is definitely worth checking out.
Solitaire is usually dull and not worth the time. Indochine is something else altogether. It is a strategic challenge and is addictive as well. The designer of Marrakesh and Bridgette has once again produced a classic game. The components are of heirloom quality.
The play presents constant decision-making options. The scoring system is actually a built-in strategic element of the game. It is simply the kind of game you want to play again and again, and you do unless someone else in the family gets to the game before you. It is worth the money and worth the time--a great game in a great package.
Don't let the price tag drive you to a German game with counters. This solitaire game tempts you to keep the Aces on the table and to still be in a position to win before the stock runs out. Constant, nailbiting decisions are a must. It's well produced and has very smooth gameplay. You'll be fighting the early morning hours trying for the elusive 2000 score.
I can see why this game is so highly acclaimed. It's very addictive with a really nice scoring twist and is quite challenging for any level player. My wife and I both really enjoy it a lot.
What's truly an extra big bonus is the beauty of this game. With its beautiful wooden box and real elegant wooden pieces, it feels like something designed in the 1600s for a king. The gameplay itself has class and the game box and pieces themselves have a lot of visual style. It's not plastic but beautiful wood.
Though based on some of the mechanics of the no-brainer solitaires that Americans are used to, this game is well designed and thought out. It adds more suits and the option of saving a buried tile with a joker. Thinking and strategy play a part, yet not so much that you can't savor the flavor of that scotch you have wanted to try.
The wooden blocks are well produced and are a pleasure to look at as well as play. Like many of the old Xanadu Leisure games, this game has color and depth and a feeling of antiquity. Indochine-2000 ranks along with Bridgette, Marrakesh, and Zig-Zag--games which are fun as well as a good test of wits. Like Krakatoa, they introduce new concepts into gaming. Joni Kansil's products are for gamers with a taste for something a bit different. I've never, in over 20 years of playing, ever missed a chance to purchase a new product, and have never stopping playing them.
Design by: Joli Quentin Kansil
Published by: Gryphon Games
1 – 2 Players, 30 minutes
Review by: Greg J. Schloesser
Solitaire (also known as Klondike) is one of the best-known and widely played card games in the entire world. Why is that so? Well, the main reason must be because, as its name implies, it can be played solitaire using only a traditional deck of playing cards. So, folks can play the game whenever they have a small bit of time; no opponents needed. The fact that the game is widely available on most computers has only added to its popularity.
A confession is in order: I have never … and I mean NEVER … played Solitaire. My excuse? I never grew-up in a family that played traditional card games. Board games were our preference. As a result, I remain to this day woefully ignorant of most traditional card games. As a result, I came into Six Suit Solitaire & Solitaire for Two with little knowledge of the game that was the catalyst for its design. While ignorance may sometimes be bliss, in this case it was a significant hindrance.
Six Suit Solitaire & Solitaire for Two is designed by Joli Quentin Kansil, author of nearly a dozen games, including the popular titles Bridgette and Montage. The game is actually two different games in one package. Six Suit Solitaire is modified version of Solitaire, but using six suits instead of four. It was originally released back in 2001 as Indochine 2000. Solitaire for Two is similar to Six Suit Solitaire, but two players compete, scoring points as they successfully place and move tiles.
A major difference in this new Gryphon Games release is that there are no cards. Instead, one is treated to some impressive hefty plastic tiles depicting the suits (six suits in three different colors) and numbers. This certainly gives the game a more exquisite feel, but in practice the tiles are a bit more cumbersome that cards.
Six Suit Solitaire has many of the same features as traditional Solitaire. The goal is similar: successfully remove tiles from play by creating stacks of tiles from ace- to-king. Most rules and mechanisms will be familiar to the Solitaire player, but there are some interesting twists. A "rail" depicting nine columns (I – IX) is placed on the table, and a "tableau" of face-down tiles is placed above the rail. The first tile goes above column II, with each subsequent column receiving one additional tile. One more tile is placed face-up in each column below the rail. The remaining 36 tiles are then set aside in stacks of three and comprise the "stock".
At the beginning of each turn, one tile from stock is revealed and placed aside, becoming the "talon". Unusable tiles will be placed behind this tile in the "discard row", eventually working their way to the front position so they can become the talon and potentially be played. Then, player will reveal one stack of three tiles from the stock. The object is to place these tiles into the "layout" (active play area) and eventually move all of the tiles "up top", where they will be scored. Most rules of play follow those present in traditional Solitaire. A tile is playable from the three revealed tiles, the talon (only the end tile) or the bottom tile in one of the columns of the layout. A tile is playable if it is one value LESS than a current tile in the layout and of a different color. For example, the ten of spades (black) may be played below the Jack of Hearts (red), or the Queen of Wheels (green) may be played below the King of Clubs (black). Thus, one is building columns of tiles arranged in reverse sequence.
When a column becomes vacant (caused by moving tiles as described above), the top tile in the tableau above that column is revealed and placed in the vacant location. When a column is vacant and there are no further tiles in the tableau above that column, the player may move a King – with all tiles underneath it – to that vacant space.
Aces are a special case. They may be placed in the layout as normal or placed "up top" above the appropriate column on the rail, thereby forming the scoring stacks. These stacks will potentially build from ace to king if a player is successful. However, there is an incentive to place one or more aces in the layout. When an ace is present in the layout, the player may move either a king or a queen to an open column. When there are two or more aces in the layout, the player may move a king, queen or jack to an open column. This gives the player greater flexibility, increasing the possibility of being able to move more tiles up top.
Another twist is the presence of the three jokers, one for each color. A joker may be used as any tile of the matching color. However, a joker may not be used for a specific tile if that tile is present in the layout or already up top. A player does not need to declare the exact value and suit of the tile unless the joker is moved up top or the other alternative is already in play. Again, this gives the player added flexibility and more options. However, when a tile is revealed that represents a joker that is in play, it must be exchanged for that joker. The exchanged joker is moved up top to the matching location on the rail. When a joker is exchanged in this fashion, the player gains a "liberty". He may move any tile in the discard row to the far right so it becomes the new talon. Note that later in the game the player may wish to play the joker directly up top. This can only be done if all six aces are already up top.
As mentioned, the goal is to ultimately move all tiles from the layout and discard row "up top". During play, however, the player may also strive to complete a "Grand Sequence", which is forming a column in the layout that runs from king to ace. This will entitle the player to a twenty-point bonus when scoring.
After making all possible plays and moves, any unused tiles from those revealed are placed in the discard row behind the talon. A new set of three tiles is revealed and the player again performs all possible plays and moves. This continues until all tiles are successfully moved "up top" or when the stock is exhausted and the player has no further possible plays. The player scores points for tiles that have been placed "up top", with points ranging from 10 – 40 per tile, based on the suit. Grand Sequences are worth 20 points, while each face-down tile remaining in the tableau subtracts five points from the score. The object, of course, is to score as many points as possible.
Solitaire for Two is played in a similar fashion, but with two players as opposed to one. Additionally, points are scored during the game as opposed to the end. Set-up is the same, but the first player does not reveal three face-down tiles. Instead, he makes any plays and moves from the nine original face-up tiles. On all subsequent turns players alternate revealing three tiles from stock and making their plays and moves. If a player manages to successfully place all three revealed tiles, he scores twenty-five points and continues his turn by revealing another stack of three tiles from stock. If a player is unable to place any of the revealed tiles, his opponent has the right to place them or make moves the other player may have overlooked. The opponent then reveals three tiles from stock and takes his turn.
In order to keep at least one ace in the layout, a rule prohibits moving an ace "up top" unless there are two or more aces in the layout. As an exception, an ace may be placed up top if a deuce is immediately moved up top on the very next play. This rule keeps the game a bit more fluid and allows players more options.
Play continues until either all tiles have been moved up top or the stock is exhausted and all plays have been completed. A second round is conducted, with the discards, talon and top tile from each column being mixed to form a new stock. At the conclusion of the second round, scores are tallied to determine the victor. Points are scored for tiles moved up top, trios, cashed jokers, Grand Sequences, and for moving columns consisting of 5, 7, 9 or 11 tiles.
These two versions of Solitaire should appeal to fans of the traditional game. They add some interesting new twists and scoring opportunities. The game is primarily one of spotting opportunities to play and move tiles, thereby revealing more tiles from the tableau and depleting the discard row. The main objective in the solo game is to move all tiles up top, while in the two-player version, one must take advantage of every scoring opportunity available.
That being said, the game is primarily one of keen observation as opposed to clever tactics. A careful player will spot most every opportunity to play or move tiles. It is rare when a player will make a combination of plays and moves that will astound his opponent. Spot the move and make it. Veteran Solitaire players may be more adept at spotting all possible moves, but I just don't feel clever or particularly intelligent when all I've done is simply spot and execute these moves. Fun? Yes. Particularly clever? Not really.
I will also admit to considerable confusion with the rules. This, however, was primarily my fault, as I am admittedly not familiar with Solitaire and the terminology used therein. As such, I had a difficult time understanding the flow of the game, in spite of rules that are well written and illustrated. Those familiar with Solitaire will likely have few if any problems understanding the rules.
My wife is an avid Solitaire player, taking advantage of every slow moment at work to play a game on her laptop computer. She enjoyed the new twists this version offered, but felt the tiles were more cumbersome than using a regular deck of cards. She also preferred the two-player version to playing solitaire, but I strongly suspect that is based on the glee she experienced by regularly stomping me into the turf.
My final assessment of the game is mixed. While I'm not sure the game will have much appeal to those who are not fans of traditional Solitaire, it certainly offers something new to spice-up the traditional games for Solitaire aficionados. However, there is always the danger of those folks objecting to changes being made to a beloved and time-tested game. Still, the two-player version may offer a chance for those folks to play one of their favorite games with a partner. That alone may be worth it.
J. Q. K., our Ace of games, and erstwhile columnist for this magazine, has given us a handsomely produced solitaire game that can best be described as a form of Klondike on steroids. It uses tiles instead of cards: two new green suits (wheels and anchors) are added to the customary four. Exchanging a joker for whatever tile it's representing earns you the ability to retrieve a buried tile from the discards. You were once in a hurry to play aces to the foundations, but keeping them in the tableau (layout) enables you to move queens (and sometimes jacks) as well as kings to empty columns. This elegant wooden set is the ideal gift for your favorite solitaire addict.
When I read Ben's list of 5 best games of 2001, I was intrigued. I normally keep my gaming ear pretty close to the ground, but this was one that I had missed and by the sound of the description, it was good! Soon after my curiosity was overcome and I played my first game. Indochine 2000 is another of Prince Joli Kansil's games based on a well-known game. This time it is Klondike, the most common form of patience. You know the one: you have a set of 0 to 6 cards in 7 columns face down. Another card is turned face-up on top of each column and you play red five on back six. Aces are promoted to above the game area, where they form the basis of a suit that can be built on with consecutive numbers. So on top of the ace of hearts is the two, then three of hearts all the way up to King. The cards not used in the set-up are taken out in threes, with the visible card able to be placed on promoted areas or columns. You are trying to get all the cards into the promoted positions, forming foundations of Ace to King in each suit. Indochine 2000 uses Klondike as its basic premise, but the first obvious difference is that the game cards are wooden tiles, about the same size as those in Mah Jong. I don't know about you, but I like the sensation of riffling through a deck of cards. However, shuffling these wooden tiles is a pretty close second. And wood looks good of course, so the aesthetics are pleasing to the eye and the hand. The tiles in this game are also unusual because there are 6 suits, rather than four, and three colours, green joining the familiar red and black. The new suits are anchors and wheels. Overall, the tiles are well produced and arrive in a wooden box, with a cushioned velvet lining on the base. I only emphasise this because when you are investing in a game of this quality, you want to make sure you get what you expect. And in Indochine 2000 you do.
Having a well-produced game with a high heft factor is very pleasant, but if the game was no good, it would be nothing more than a wooden box on your shelves to show people when they come round to view your collection. This game, though, is good and so you will be happy with your purchase. As I mentioned, the game is clearly based on Klondike. So what are the differences? Well, after the tiles, the next significant change is the set-up. There is a wooden rail that displays all the suits in ranking order - anchors, clubs, diamonds, hearts, spades and wheels - and the three jokers -- red, black and green. The tiles are placed above the rail, with increasing numbers as you move across from left to right. Above the clubs there is one tile, the diamonds two and so on until there are 8 tiles above the green joker space. The tiles are all played face down. Below the rail there is one tile face-up for all nine columns. This completes the tableau.
These visible tiles are the ones that you move by playing the tile onto another column, below an existing tile, so that the tile they touch is a higher rank and different in colour. For example, a red five can be moved onto a green six. A block of red five, green 4 and black 3 may also be moved as a unit onto a green six. When a column is empty, the top most block in the column that is emptied is turned over and placed in the vacant space. This presents more options for play to continue. When there are no more tiles to reveal, a king (and any other tiles with it) can be moved to head this vacant column, as in Klondike.
An ace can be promoted as in Klondike to form the basis for a sequence of ace to king. Unlike Klondike, these are always arranged in the same sequence as the rail, so that scoring is easier. Aces may be retained in a layout for tactical reasons. When there is one ace in a layout and a vacant column occurs, a Queen may also be moved instead of a King. This obviously allows more options and is a balance against promoting an ace early. This principle is extended further so that Jacks can get promoted if there are two or more aces in the layout. Overall, it is best to keep at least one ace in the main area to allow more flexibility of movement of the tiles.
The remainder of the tiles not used in the opening set-up is held in a stock, which is formed into a block of 3 by 4 by 3 deep. When moves are not possible, or chosen, a tile from this block is turned face-up and acts like the cards left over in Klondike. This is called the Talon. Unlike the card game, the tiles are placed in a row. The right-most is the one that was drawn last and is the only one that can normally be played. When the block is exhausted and there are no more moves, the game ends.
Tiles from the Talon can be freed through the action of the jokers. When these are turned up, you can play them as any tile of that colour, without specifying which specific tile they are. So the green joker could act as a green seven, either the green anchor or green wheel. The only tiles that the joker cannot represent are tiles in the existing layout (the visible ones) or the tile that is at the front of the Talon (the one that is playable) or one that is played on an existing foundation (the aces to kings). When a tile is turned up that represents the joker, the joker must be exchanged. The joker is then promoted (to the area where the aces to kings are placed) and as a bonus, a tile that is in the Talon may be moved to the front of the Talon, where it can be played. This device allows the discarded tiles to become available and open up more plays. Jokers can be promoted directly only if all the six aces are also already promoted. This can happen late in a game when a joker is not much use in substituting for a specific tile.
The other main difference between the card game and Indochine 2000, is that the tiles are used to score. In the card game you either succeed or fail and although there are scoring mechanisms that can be applied, they are not usually used. When the game ends and all possible plays have been made, the wooden rail is used to value the tiles promoted. The left most suit tiles score 10 points, with the most valuable one, wheels, scoring 40 points per tile promoted (in the ace to king foundation). Each Joker scores 5 points and a further five point bonus is earned for a wooden logo marker being used. This is allowed when a player has a sequence of King to Ace in a column in a layout. I've found that this is pretty easy to achieve and I suspect was a mechanism that was created at the last minute to enable the best score to be 2000 points. If you do not get all the tiles promoted and jokers and logo scored, you deduct 5 points for each tile that is still face down in the opening layout. These are the tiles that were placed above the rail.
The well-written rules (with clear examples of play) suggest that a score of 500 points is considered a single victory with 1000 and 2000 representing Double and Triple Victories. My experience after about 30 games is that a single victory is not hard to get, but I have only got a Triple victory once.
The game is designed to be like 'normal' solitaire, so it is bound to be easy to pick up the rules and feel familiar. My bias is toward card games, so this makes Indochine 2000 doubly easy for me to appreciate and like. I see that there are many decisions to make and the choice of tile to use when jokers are available rarely straightforward. It is great to play on a table and quite compulsive. The rules are well described, and I enjoy the formal aspect of the starting set-up. Anyone who has played Mah Jong or watched it played, will appreciate the ritual of the set-up and Indochine 2000 has a similar feel. I also like little touches in a game that make it clear that someone cared when they designed or published a game. For me, in this game, it is the selection of suits. The green colour is distinct from the other two colours and the naming of the suits and placement in alphabetical order just make a difference between producing the game and doing it right.
Having re-read Ben's comments in Counter 16, I can see why it made his top 5 for 2000. It is really enjoyable to play, does not last long and the quality of the components ensure that you will play the game just one more time. There haven't been many games in the last few years that have made me say that. Highly recommended for card addicts everywhere.