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

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft Solitaire, 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

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 and daily challenges. There's a subscription option. 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 sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.