Apparently, no one is allowed to have fun by themselves anymore.
That’s the impression I’ve been given thanks to the rise of social networking and online gaming, at least. I remember vividly a time when you used the Internet alone in your home to read news and post anonymous, angry screeds on message boards, after which you played a video game by yourself. Those days are long gone, and now, apparently, you can’t even play a game of solitaire alone, but the Pounce iPhone game ($1.99) proves that that’s not such a bad thing.
Pounce is essentially solitaire with multiple players. Up to four humans and one computer can participate as the aim of solitaire, to rid yourself of your deck of cards, is expanded seamlessly to accommodate the extra players.
In Pounce, each player has their own deck, and they scroll through their cards (pulled out in groups of threes) in order to place them in order in their private piles, just like solitaire. Unlike solitaire, the true aim of the game is to move the cards from your private pile into community piles shared by all of the players. Players earn points based on the number of cards they’ve placed in the community pile.
At any time in the game, a player can call “Pounce” and end the hand. At that point, players scores are tallied, and the next hand begins. The game ends when a set number of total points have been reached (the game says that most common total is 100, and who am I to argue?)
It’s a clever twist on a classic card game, and the iPhone experience presents it well enough. The cards rest on top of a very bizarre background that looks like a giant black skyline, but given that’s all you’ll have to look at for awhile, I suppose the creativity is appreciated.
The button for “pouncing” is easy to hit, and although at first it can be difficult to move the small cards around the screen, it feels like second nature after just a few hands. It’s not perfect, but given everything happening on the screen, it works well enough.
The biggest downside to Pounce might be the time it takes to play a game. If you’re going slowly with only a few opponents, a hand can take 10 minutes to get through, and you’ll need to go through several hands to actually end the game. That isn’t much of a problem against the computer, given that you can save and return to your game whenever you want, but it makes online multi-player games a bit of a chore, which is a shame, because playing this online is where you’ll have the most fun with it.
If you’re a card game aficionado, Pounce is probably a no-brainer. It’s easy to understand and fun to play, so if you don’t mind a no-frills package, it deserves a look.
The developer of this application is an Appolicious advertiser. This editorial review was written independent of all advertising considerations.