Fairway Solitaire stands out for all the right reasons as it takes the basic mechanic in golf solitaire, and takes the theme to heart in every way. Now, there’s the all new Fairway Solitaire Blast, which maintains the same idea, but adds in new levels, challenges, and power-ups. Your goal is still to play cards one higher, or lower than the one on the draw pile, and build up streaks of continuously played cards to clear the board. There are over 100 levels included in Fairway Solitaire Blast, and there are varying objectives including reaching a certain score, building a specific streak, playing non-spades, activating a power-up, and more. Speaking of power-ups, you’re given access to wild cards, laser blasts, bombs, shuffle, flame blast, and more.
There’s a whole lot to go through in Fairway Solitaire Blast, while maintaining that simple approach that makes the game highly accessible, and enjoyable. Once you have the basics down, it’s easy to see a long chain on the board, and start getting streaks of double digit cards. Blast also includes an all new level set-up that gives you three different layouts to clear in one level, but you have just one draw pile to use. That means you need to build up big chains, and use power-ups for your 30 card draw pile to last. As you advance, you unlock new abilities, and unlock more bonus potential including two times score in flawless mode, super streak bonus score, and the ability to counteract hazards like the rough, and sand traps.
The best part of Blast is that it keeps you going from level to level with just that intrinsic replay factor that makes it constantly engaging. The biggest problem with Blast is that it has the original Fairway Solitaire to contend with, which was absolutely great. Blast is simply on the good side, as it lacks the charm of Fairway Solitaire including the hilarious announcers, use of actual clubs to tie into the golf element, and focus on the course idea of golf. The levels don’t really have any connection, or distinction other than relatively similar challenges. Another problem is that the power-ups are the main focus in Blast, but it seems like they don’t actually help you. The power-ups don’t boost your score as much as playing the cards would do, and they also seem to harm your chances at bigger chains, so it’s often best to leave them be. Finally, new abilities are introduced at a very slow pace, which unnecessarily drags out the simpler levels.
Fairway Solitaire Blast (Free, Universal) is more enjoyable golf solitaire that is a worthwhile download in its own right, but not as good as its predecessor. It’s also worth noting that the game is free to play with in-app purchases tied to the boosters of ranging from $0.99 to $4.99 for each boost.