I love to play board games and play lots of family games, but I also like puzzle games that I can just sit there and play by myself. In solitude, alone, solo – maybe I should just become a fully-fledged hermit. Which brings me to the classic board game that I loved playing as a child, Solitaire. As the name suggests, Solitaire is a game for one solitary player. I am talking about the strategy board game, not the card game that I know as Patience.
Solitaire, the board game, is a strategy game generally played on a circular board with different shapes patterns; the English version has 33 holes whilst the French (European) versions has 37 holes and there are several other variations up to 45 holes. It is played with pegs or marbles.
The idea is to fill all the holes (if playing with pegs) or indentations (if playing with marbles) except the centre space and try to remove all the pieces by jumping over pieces to the adjacent empty space to remove pegs and end up with one solitary peg or marble in the centre space.
Solitaire as a board game has been around for centuries, evidently the game can be traced back to the court of Louis XIV, the King of France, and the specific date of 1697!
I have been playing a wooden version of the game with marbles (although not since 1697!).
In the box:
- Circular Wooden Game Board
- 32 Blue Marbles
The board is made from responsibly sourced wood with 33 indentations and a grooved edge where marbles can sit.
It is an easy game to play, just fill 32 of the indentations on the game board with marbles, leaving the centre one empty. Then you jump over one marble, horizontally or vertically, into an empty adjacent space, removing the jumped marble and placing it in the grooved edge around the perimeter. You keep doing this until there is one marble left, which to play properly should end up in the centre space on the last move. The shortest solution to the standard English game involves 18 moves, counting multiple jumps as single moves – can you do it as quick?
Overall, the board game of Solitaire is excellent and challenging fun, a perfect way to kill some dead time. It is a very easy game to learn with a very simple concept but one that is hard to master as there are many possible strategies and solutions that are not always obvious to see, and you do have to think ahead rather than just react.
Once you start playing, it becomes very addictive. A game that tests logic, patience and problem-solving skills. A game that is very satisfying if you beat it. As a solitary game it can be very relaxing, played at your speed but can be equally as frustrating as it is enjoyable.
It is an excellent game for anyone who loves puzzles and brain teasers. It’s a great way to have fun and exercise your mind at the same time. The wooden board and marbles are good quality and durable game and will last for years.
Another classic board game that every board game player should own.
Available to buy from Amazon here.