Imagine the card game of Solitaire, except it's about Victorian courtship, and you can win fancy dresses and decorate your ballroom and also unlock clever and challenging new twists on the game design. I KNOW. No seriously you have got to play this I'm not kidding.
Regency Solitaire is a charming and smart take on desktop Solitaire, where you're playing through the narrative arc of a delightful but financially bereft girl called Bella. Her dream is to woo the handsome Mr. Worthington at the glamorous society balls, but her father thinks she should just appreciate the fact the creepy neighbor is up for marrying her broke bustle.
That's just the story part. The game itself is wonderful: It's playing cards printed with lovely nobles and ladies, all arranged as if for a ballroom greeting, in unusual patterns in different locations as you travel across England. The basic game is easy: You can stack any card that's a number higher or lower than the current face-up card in your deck, and you aim to clear the board. Clever chains create combos that earn you more points.
Except the game gently and eloquently introduces additional objectives, like uncovering hidden objects beneath certain card patterns, or accessing "locked" stacks through specific plays. The points you earn by playing Regency Solitaire can be spent on Bella's trousseau, earning her items that unlock additional advantages on the board (like extra chances to undo your last move, or the ability to see more of the facedown cards). The more you play, the more Bella's ballroom fills up with vanity pieces, and you start to think this gal might be going places.
"Casual" (i.e. 'universal' 'playable' 'for everyone') games with "feminine" ('has dresses' 'has collecting' 'has love in it') themes often get a bad rap, supposedly flimsy and of poor quality. But Regency Solitaire is full of bright and charming details: The eye-catching but unintrusive way a card will waggle for your notice when you've missed a move, or the way the shuffling and spinning animations reinforce the ballroom theme, sliding deftly across the screen in time to the regal music.
And it's just smart. It's not often one can make what feel like true, deep innovations on something as well-trod as Patience-alikes (I know a lovely girl called Patience, hi Patience! <3). Regency Solitaire's additional gameplay elements always feel like pleasing twists on an old classic, and they make Regency Solitaire incredibly hard to put down for anyone who's ever taken a passing fancy to hours of computer Klondike while pretending to be busy at your day job.
This game will absolutely get you through those long hours at your day job. It will probably get you fired. You guys, it's so awesome. "It has everything" is something I really only say about absolute joy-fests like Fury Road or SisQo's The Thong Song, but it has everything. Buy it on Steam for $9.99 and thank me later.