Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers is one of the most addictive games I have encountered for the iPhone. Basically what developer Endloop Systems Inc. managed to do is to merge solitaire with arcade action.
TriTowers also known as Tri Peaks and Triple Peaks is a simple solitaire game with the object to clear the board of all cards. The cards are arranged in three peaks with 18 cards face down, and a bottom row consisting of ten cards face up. You have a stock pile with the remaining cards beside a waste pile with one card facing up. The card facing up has to be placed wherever it is ranked as one step higher or one step lower than one of the cards in the TriTowers. If you can’t put the card anywhere you draw a new card from the stock pile. The game ends when you clear the board or when you run out of cards in the stock pile. This is the basic formula of TriTowers, and I have previously played it a lot for the iPhone using Solitaire City™(deluxe). It is really easy to play game after game after game of TriTowers.
The Arcade in Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers is the inclusion of a time limit for each board, and a limited number of lives for each game. You start the game with one extra life, and for each board you clear you get an extra life. If you loose the level you loose a life but still get to progress to the next level. When you run out of lives the game is over. These small inclusions turn the game into a real gem of a time waster.
To your aid you get the occasional wild card that can represent any card you want. You also get to know that a match can be done when you try to draw cards from the stock pile. Of course one basic shortcoming of the game is that it is still solitaire, which means that if you mess up initially you can’t clear the board. It is also hard to tell whether levels get harder or if you actually loose the lives due to the statistical ratio of cleared boards in comparison to games played. This is something I only think about when I am not playing the game, once I play I get into solitaire frenzy mode. In that frenzy I just go for it relying on my mad skills, even though of course luck has got more impact on the game.
The game looks bright, and sparkly with some really snazzy effects when you clear a lot of cards in a row. Combos give higher points, and often it is worth taking a look at how a sequence can continue before starting to clear it not to miss out on some big scores. The further you progress the more decks and backgrounds you unlock. There are no less than 30 decks and backgrounds to unlock, and you can combine them however you want to. The sound consists of chirpy sound effects, and you can play your own music alongside them.
An extensive list of almost 50 achievements are available through OpenFeint. The game also tracks your current ranking against the world leaderboards, and shows it in real time in the top left corner of the screen. There is only one mode available, but it has got infinite replay ability.
Arcade Solitaire: TriTowers is a great time waster that takes the already addictive solitaire into arcade territory. At the introductory price of $0.99 it is an absolute steal, and even at $2.99 it will be easy for me to recommend.