Skip to main content

Microsoft Solitaire is 30 today and trying to set a new record

(Image credit: Microsoft)
Audio player loading…

Microsoft Solitaire (opens in new tab), the appendix of Windows PCs, has been knocking about for 30 years. You might not always remember it's there, or why it's there, but it's always hanging around on the rare chance that you'll need it. Or maybe not so rare, because its current incarnation attracts 35 million players a month. 

Its ubiquity, spreading out from PC to phones and tablets, no doubt keeps those numbers high, but there's a deeper appeal—when you see those columns of cards, you've just got to start moving them around. It's so familiar that it's instinctual. Then there's the fulfilment that comes from tidying up and putting things in some arbitrary order, though I'd rather do it in Wilmot's Warehouse (opens in new tab)

Solitaire even has its own day, which just so happens to be today. I've got to confess that we don't normally observe this special day in my household, but there's always time to start a new tradition. 

To mark its 30th anniversary and National Solitaire Day, Microsoft wants to set a new record for most games of Microsoft Solitaire played in 24 hours. There's a pretty good chance you've got it, so you might as well fire it up and play a round, at least if you can stomach its transformation into some kinda of free-to-play mobile game. 

Yes, apparently Solitaire is now some tangled nightmare of coins and XP (opens in new tab) and daily challenges. There's a subscription option (opens in new tab). I'm exhausted just looking at the main menu. Some of this stuff appeared years ago, but it's been a while since I dusted the game off. Luckily, when you get past all that nonsense you can just play a regular game of Solitaire. 

I took a crack at it but remembered that Solitaire is actually a wee bit boring, so I just went back to work. 

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.