Many mobile games these days seem to mash two games or gaming mechanics together in an attempt to create something new. Take good old-fashioned Solitaire, for example, and blend in elements of a role-playing game and voila, you have Solitairica.

Solitairica is set in the goofy pun-heavy world of Myriodd. All of the hearts of the land have been taken by Emperor Stuck, a real buzzkill jerk. As the hero-to-be of Myriodd it is your job to defeat Stuck and free the hearts of its hapless denizens. To get to this big bad in his far away creepy castle you must win at Solitaire at each step toward Stuck while one of his crazy minions look on. They don’t make it easy on you, however, and each minion will do its utmost to defeat you by reducing your health to zero before you can win. If that happens it’s game over and Stuck’s heartless reign continues. Worse yet, he adds your own broken heart to his sick collection.

The conflict in Solitairica happens when you run out of cards to clear and have to draw a new card from your deck. This lets your opponent take an action, which is often something nasty dealing damage or messing with the game’s cards in an unhelpful manner. You can fight back with your own suite of spells that effectively let you cheat at Solitaire or hit back at Stuck’s minions directly.

Spells are fueled by four flavors of energy—attack, defense, agility, and willpower—which you gain by clearing cards of the corresponding type. There are several different decks to unlock in Solitairica each based on a classic RPG class—Warrior, Wizard, Paladin, Bard, Monk, and Rogue. Each class specializes in two of these four energies and has their own spell specialties.

As you defeat Stuck’s minions you earn coins which can be used to buy new spells in the shop. You can also pick up and equip an assortment of magic items which do things grant you extra health or a reserve of energy to start the game. Both spells and items make a huge difference against future opponents which get nastier and nastier as you close in on Stuck.

Games are quick, about two minutes each, and quite fun, especially once you get the hang of things. The mechanics are well thought out and clever and the different decks add solid replay value. Solitairica is a premium game so you pay once and play forever, no annoying in-app purchases. It is perfect for a quick game or two while in a line or a waiting room, but also worth a longer play session during a slow night at home. You can, and should, pick up Solitairica from the App Store today!

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