The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Sage Solitaire

Well, after the insanity that was last week, it was nice to see the trend continue with another strong lineup of games this week. Of course, that also makes picking the Game of the Week a difficult task, but trust me, I'd rather have to make a tough decision about too many great games than have to settle for something that's the least crappy of the bunch. This week I went with a game I feel is a shining example of a great mobile game: Zach Gage's Sage Solitaire [Free].

sagesolitaireWhy is Sage Solitaire a great mobile game? Well first off, it's familiar, as it blends together two well-known concepts: solitaire and poker. A deck of cards is shuffled out into a grid of 9 piles. The top card on each pile is facing up. Your job is to create poker hands out of the face-up cards, and try to continue to do so until you've used every card in the deck. Sounds simple, right? Well it is, but it's also nuanced and pretty complex. There are several factors that give this simple idea purpose and add strategy.

First, you need to make your hand from at least two rows. I imagine if this rule wasn't imposed the game would be too easy and you'd clear the board nearly every time. However, to balance out it being too impossible to win too much of the time, you also have two "trash spots" you can discard a card to when needed. You can even gain back used trash spots by making hands, so it's a really handy tool. Another wrinkle is that one card is dealt to the side at the beginning of every game, and the suit of that card is your bonus suit. Make a hand with at least one card of that suit and you'll get a scoring bonus. However, the bonuses don't stack, so an added strategy is to not use more than one of that suit in a hand if you don't have to in order to increase the potential of you being able to use it in a future hand.

Sage Solitaire also makes a great mobile game because its sessions are so quick. Normal solitaire is pretty quick too, but these are even faster. Of course, once a game ends the "one more go" urge is extremely strong, so it's nice you can fit in multiple games in even shorter game sessions.

sagesolitaire1It reminds me a lot of Threes! [$2.99 / Free]. It's easy to pull out of your pocket even if you haven't played in a while and instantly recognize what's going on in a game and be able to focus your attention on it. Then just like a light switch you can turn it off and snap back into the real world in a heartbeat. It's not simple enough to be mindless but not so involving that it requires your brain to shift gears in order to enjoy, if that makes sense.

Finally, Sage Solitaire's pay model is really nice. It's a free download supported with very infrequent ads. In fact, ads don't even start running until after you've completed at least 3 games, in order not to scare you off. $2.99 unlocks the full game which disables ads, adds two new game modes and a number of different backgrounds and card backs to customize your game with. The new game modes are Double Deck, which lets you play a normal game with two decks at once, and Fifteens Mode which adds equaling 15 an additional hand you can play. Both the new modes and the customization options are well worth the money if you like the free taste.

I'm still figuring out new strategies and continuing to be surprised by Sage Solitaire. I have a small collection of ultimate go-to games and it didn't take long for this to make it into that club. If you like solitaire and/or poker or you even think you might like them there's no reason not to give the free download a try, but don't be surprised if you find yourself pulling your phone out of your pocket even more than usually this weekend to sneak in a game or three.

  • HeavyMetal Guy

    looks so funny

    • MrThickDick

      Do people make posts like these because they don't know the difference between fun and funny?

      • Jake7905

        Exactly. The game looks fun, and""" your name is funny. Simple.

      • mrsaturn789

        Or maybe they found something funny in there. If he wrote "it is funny looking" you may get what he's possibly talking about.

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  • Maglor

    $$$∧_∧
      (´・ω・`)   n This is
     ̄     \ ( E) Game of the Week.
    フT---A/ヽ ヽ_//

    • https://www.youtube.com/user/rrvirus redribbon

      hahahahaha 😀 😀

  • scottbailey

    I can't win, but I love it. Hopefully I'll find a winning strategy.

    Great game! Simply yet beautifully done.

  • Dailon Huskey

    This week shouldn't even be compared in any way to last week, sorry there was Lara croft go and a bunch of puzzle junk. It's all opinion anyway but the fact it this week is nothing like last week and next week is set leave it further behind. First week in a while I saved money and didn't buy a game next week I will be back to spending 🙂

    • nini

      You really can't follow up "it's just opinion" with a statement of opinion as fact.

      • Dailon Huskey

        Yeah what the hell was I talking about haha

    • Carlos Alberto

      Make sure to use Trash also when you only have one possible move.

  • TSP

    A perfect game playing with one hand even on the 6 Plus while walking with the stroller. As addictive, as the click wheel iPod Nano Solitaire was back in the day.
    Playing with two decks is great, and so far this is game of the year for me.

  • Kiltedsheep

    It's simple, addictive and perfect for playing in short bursts. Definitely GOTW for me. Yet another Zach Gage triumph!

  • ndre

    Zack is back <3
    Full game bought!

  • Dema9o9ue

    Great pick! This looks like an awesome game that really deserves some attention. There are some other popular games this week that I'm sure lots of people will think deserve GOTW. However, Toucharcade is doing the community some real good by highlighting great games like this that could use the extra attention. Bravo Toucharcade!

  • Howlingwolf

    Good choice as game of the week

  • LarryWP

    Excellent game for "just one more turn."

  • https://www.youtube.com/user/rrvirus redribbon

    since solitaire is the most requested "feature" on windows 10, well i think i can brain twist my brain for a second to accept this game as GOTW compared to LCGo and Calvino Noir.

  • LordShad0wz

    At first I was like, they went off their deep end picking this as the game of the week. There were other releases that I would have thought should win. But then I downloaded the game. I sat down and played. I made the purchase to unlock the entire game and now understand why. It's a fantastic game. A game that's easy to pick up and understand but very hard to master. It's clean cut and just really well made. As a fan of threes for some reason this game scratches that same itch. You just have to try one more time. And you should definitely unlock the entire game. Having the dual decks is fantastic! Thank you Touch Arcade for showing me a game that I might have passed by.

  • Jon Smith

    Hey guys I don't understand this concept of the game of the week and didn't find your explanation comprehensive enough.

  • ATOMBombadil

    I can't seem to understand how trash cards work. It always asks me to trash the first card I choose, but then never again. I also don't see the trash can icons reappear when I make hands or combos. Any help here on this mechanic? Otherwise I love it. Spelltower was one of my early app store favorites.