Anawiki Games has announced the iOS and Mac OS X release of its latest solitaire title, Seven Seas Solitaire. Like the company's earlier titles, Avalon Legends Solitaire and Soccer Cup Solitaire, Seven Seas Solitaire adds a strong storyline to classic solitaire gameplay, with a few thematic twists and new mechanics thrown in.
The game is available through the App Store and the Mac App Store. The iOS version is a universal app, compatible with iPhone and iPad, and the Mac version requires OS X version 10.7.5 or higher. Seven Seas Solitaire is a free download with 3-stage demo available and full version can be unlocked without leaving the game.
"Even more so than with our other solitaire titles, we set out from the start to make sure that Seven Seas Solitaire and a really strong story and theme," says Roman Budzowski, Anawiki owner and lead developer, "Each of the levels has its own little story and its own reward, and you can choose the order you want to play them in, so there's a real sense of exploration and adventure that you wouldn't normally expect to find in a solitaire game."
The game kicks off with the protagonist - Benjamin Fleet, a former naval captain - wrongfully imprisoned, accused of kidnapping the duke's daughter, whom he had intended to marry against her father's wishes. The action kicks off in high gear, with the player assisting the hero in stealing Benjamin's former ship, The Falcon, and making a narrow escape across the high seas, pursued by the royal navy. From there, it's an epic quest to locate and rescue the beautiful Elaine, clearing Benjamin's good name in the process.
The story is set in a fictionalized version of the Caribbean, full of monsters, pirates, ghosts and magic. Benjamin's journey takes place in a series of stages, each of which consists of several locations spread around a particular area of the sea. The player can tackle the locations in any order, and each provides a surprising adventure and an unknown reward; a few will contain quest items which need to be collected to unlock the stage's final level and advance through the game, while others reward the player with optional bonus items or cash.
Aside from these special rewards, the player also earns money through performing well in the levels themselves. This money, in turn, is used to purchase upgrades for Benjamin's secret island hideout, or for the Falcon itself. Each of these upgrades provides the player with special powers, so the game experience can be very different depending on the player's choices.
"We wanted to create something really immersive," says Budzowski, "Solitaire games can be great for relaxing, but we didn't want to create something where the player is just mindlessly clicking away. We wanted to make sure the game engages the player on a number of levels. The story is part of that, but also we put a lot of effort into giving the player interesting decisions to make throughout."
As well as the strategic decisions involved in upgrading the island fortress and ship, the solitaire gameplay itself offers some interesting tactical choices. For instance, running up long combos earns the player more money for the level, while the player also collects cannonballs through their travels, which allow the removal of inconvenient cards. Deciding how and when to expend cannonballs is a key part of the strategy, since they can be used either to keep a big combo going, or bail the player out when they might otherwise fail a level.
Seven Seas Solitaire features more than 300 levels over the course of 33 stages. Each stage has its own beautiful background art, while the levels' adventures are individually narrated. There are 20 power-ups and upgrades for Benjamin's ship and secret hideout.
Seven Seas Solitaire is Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category.