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Strike Solitaire 2 review for PS Vita

Platform: PS Vita
Publisher: 8floor
Developer: 8floor
Medium: Digital
Players: 1
Online: No
ESRB: E

I loved the first Strike Solitaire game. Like, to the point that my A- review of the game probably didn't capture just how much I enjoyed it. I was thoroughly addicted to it, and played it until I'd gotten a perfect score on every level at both difficulties. I don't usually take that kind of completionist attitude to games, so that should tell you everything you need to know about how much I liked it.

Strike Solitaire 2_2

It should also tell you how disappointed I was to discover that Strike Solitaire 2 is nowhere near as strong a game. In most respects it's identical, but it differs in one crucial aspect: it's nowhere near as fair. Where the first game had paid DLC that was there if you needed it — but was by no means necessary to achieving 100% — this time out the game has had its difficulty ramped up so significantly that I can't imagine finishing it without paying a cent out of pocket. Let me put it this way: included with the game's review code was $100k in in-game currency. I'd used it all up by the fourth or fifth level, playing just on the easiest level.

It would be one thing, of course, if this was simply a symptom of the game being harder. The fact I 100%-ed the first game probably signals it may have been a little on the easy side, and could stand to be a little more challenging. But Strike Solitaire 2 isn't just a little more challenging — it frequently throws levels at you that are literally impossible. Levels where the first card you have to match has no pair in the dealer's deck, decks with an odd number of cards (thus ensuring that not every card has a match): while the first of those things is bound to happen in any game of solitaire, and the second happened every so often in the first Strike Solitaire, they happen in Strike Solitaire 2 so frequently that it borders on the absurd.

Strike Solitaire 2

Which, as I said, is extraordinarily unfortunate if for no other reason than I loved — loved loved LOVED — that first game. It is, without any hint of hyperbole, one of my favourite games of 2015 so far. But Strike Solitaire 2? To the extent it's possible to be deeply disappointed by a budget-priced casual game on the Vita, I'm pretty let down. Pick it up, I guess, if you have love of this solitaire variation and unlimited DLC funds, but otherwise, don't even bother.

Grade: C-