When you think of fantastically themed solitaire card games your mind should instantly head to mobile with games like Solitairica, Card Crawl, and Miracle Merchant. Fun, quick games like this are a staple on your phone, less so on Steam where you expect a bit more under the hood. A new solitaire card game, Shadowhand, was released yesterday and while it seems like mobile would be a perfect fit, you’ll only find it available for PC/Mac. As expected, there’s a little more under the hood.
Shadowhand tells the tale of Lady Darkmoor who is the victim of highwaymen one night and decides to turn the tables and don a mask and pistol to locate her friend Mariah who was either kidnapped or escaped during the robbery. Okay, the story isn’t the game’s strongest attribute, but it’s a fairly small part of what you’ll be doing, which is mostly playing a very pretty version of solitaire.
To progress the story you’ll play games of solitaire where the goal is simply to remove all the cards from the board. You’ll flip a card from the deck and collect cards one step higher or lower, continuing until there are no more cards which is when you’ll flip another card and try again. You’ll earn gold as you remove longer and longer strings of cards, with gold being used to upgrade your character, RPG-style.
The card game is extremely luck-based, requiring very little strategy, but you’ll be rewarded with loot including new weapons, armor, trinkets, and more. It’s these choices that make the game interesting and fun, leveling up and increasing your different stats or equipping a new weapon that does less damage than your pistol, but has some special ability that, you hope, makes up for it.
All these weapons and armor are important for the second type of solitaire you’ll play, Duels. These are head-to-head battles against AI opponents in which you’ll take turns removing as many cards as possible, with each card taken powering-up your equipment. Once any of your equipment is fully charged, it’s stabby-stabby time. The card game is, again, basically a luck fest; there’s not a lot you can do if you keep drawing crappy cards. That said, your equipment can help you turn the tables and pull the luck a bit in your direction.
Shadowhand was released yesterday on Steam for both PC and Mac, and runs just under $14 with a launch sale. I’ve only just started my adventure, but am curious enough to keep playing and see where it leads. I might just skip some of those story cutscenes.