FreeCell for Microsoft® Windows™
Developed by Jim Horne

This Hot Potato is so delicious I don't even need to add butter. Many people who waste time playing Windows™ games settle for Solitaire or Minesweeper. I've rarely talked to anyone who mentions FreeCell, which is a shame, because it is clearly better than both of them.

There are something like 1,000,000 possible combinations of cards you can start with. The entire deck is laid out in eight columns, and your goal is to maneuver the cards up to the top and assemble them by suit. You can only move one card at a time, and any card you lay on another has to be one lower and of the opposite color.

To get cards up to the top, you need to start with the aces and then proceed up from there. This can be extremely difficult because there is little margin for error, as you only have four "safe" spots at the top in which to temporarily hold cards.

Sometimes the solution may seem easy, but one false move can ruin the whole game, so you need to have the strategic gumption of Hannibal to make it through to the end.

At the top of the game screen is a little thumbnail of the card king, and his eyes shift from left to right depending on where you move your mouse. It's such a wonderful feature. The game keeps track of your wins, losses, and streaks, which I can't say for Solitaire or Minesweeper.

I once overheard an old lady at Walgreens® discussing FreeCell with the man behind the checkout counter, and she was more than halfway through playing every single game of Freecell. I challenged her to a game and she brought me to her house. Unfortunately I was allergic to her cat and had to leave before we could play.

Review by Illusion Master