The Solitaire Conspiracy is the latest from Bithell Games, and specifically what the studio calls a 'Bithell Short'. The idea is that these are "experimental games that explore side ideas or genres that we don't get to play with in the likes of Volume or John Wick," said Mike Bithell in a series of tweets (opens in new tab) announcing the the new project.
The latest of these shorts looks to blend novelty and familiarity—it's that old stalwart, solitaire, always on your PC in case you've exhausted all other forms of entertainment, but now transformed into a near-future spy thriller where you're trying to rebuild your agency while fighting a supervillain.
So.. shall we announce a game then?As longtime players of our nonsense will know, we tend to mix things up between our larger projects with ‘Shorts’, more experimental games that explore side ideas or genres that we don’t get to play with in the likes of Volume or John Wick.September 22, 2020
Past shorts include the excellent Subsurface Circular (opens in new tab), a brief text adventure that follows a robot detective investigating the disappearance of several working class bots. It turned conversations into a series of puzzles that you solve with the words and phrases you've collected.
The Solitaire Conspiracy is based on the Streets and Alleys solitaire variant (opens in new tab), but instead of plonking down regular playing cards, you've got crews with unique powers and cyber enhancements that let you do things like move cards around or steal them. There's also a story campaign with FMV cutscenes where you'll learn some tricks and gather your scattered spy crews.
Once you're done with the campaign, there are two more modes, letting you tackle waves of unique decks in Countdown or muck around in the sandboxy Skirmish mode with all the crews unlocked.
It's coming soon, too. If the combination of super spies and solitaire has piqued your interest, you'll be able to get it on Steam (opens in new tab) and the Epic Games Store (opens in new tab) on October 6.