I’m getting ready to go on vacation, so of course I checked out new games I can load onto my Pocket PC and bring with me. I’ve been addicted to Spider on my PC for a few years now, but never found a good implementation of it on a handheld until now. But Astraware has finally done it – made a version of Spider that’s actually playable on a handheld.
It’s hard to do – the screen is small, and you can’t use handy keyboard shortcuts for hint or undo like you can on a desktop. But they’ve solved the problem with a mode that shows all available moves, so you don’t have to go to the menu to see each one (why didn’t Microsoft do this in their version? It’s so obvious once you think of it), and an Undo button right on the screen. The cards are as big as they can be, and the stacks resize as they fill up.
This is a lesson in usability for handheld developers. (No, I’m not playing games. I’m learning about usability. Really.) There are 12 different solitaire games in the package, and it looks like the others are just as well implemented. Brilliant job, Astraware. And thank you – the flights and airport are going to be a lot more bearable for me now.