Video or computer games typically fall into one of two categories. Either it is extremely addicting and squeezes hours of playing time out of your schedule, or it is the kind of game that can easily be played for just a few spare moments. While both have their pros and cons, the latter is often a better choice for people just looking for something with which to kill a little spare time.
Panoramic software is a developer that is starting to gain some momentum with their software and the recognition that they get from various sources. One of their software packages, moTweets, is a Twitter client that is being mentioned in the same breath as applications such as Twikini. One genre that Panoramic has put extra emphasis on is card games. Panoramic FreeCell was released October 15, 2009. Now in version 1.2.0, FreeCell is a great example of one of the things that I really respect about Panoramic. When one of their products is first released, they are constantly fixing bugs and listening to customer feedback in order to perfect their product.
For the full breakdown of what Panoramic FreeCell offers, hit the jump.
You would think that with a game like FreeCell, it would be one of those applications that you could simply throw together and launch. Panoramic wasn’t willing to stay with the bare bones feature set with this application. With their implementation of this classic card game, Panoramic allows you to choose between four different variations of FreeCell (FreeCell, Baker’s, KingCell, and Four Colors). The game can also be tweaked by changing how many available free cells are available, whether or not empty spaces can only be filled by Kings, and the option to play backwards by inverting the card order. Other options allow you to customize the game by turning sound on or off and changing the color of the background (or table).
Ease of Use
One thing that is always a sign of a good developer is when they give you multiple methods of navigating through their application. Panoramic does a fabulous job of this by allowing you to move cards around be drag and drop, or tapping the card you wish to move and then the space you want to move it to. Double tapping on a card sends the top card to the first available free cell.
Another thing that makes this game incredibly easy to use and seamless is the fact that your game is automatically saved when you exit the application; making it easy to play for a few minutes when you have just a little spare time.
When a developer is looking to cut cost on a software project, one area where they could be tempted to divert effort in order to save time and cost is graphics. While this is a simple card game and not a first person shooter, Panoramic did their due diligence to make sure this game is visually appealing and intuitive. Shadows and animations add to the usability and complete the experience. When a card is picked up, the shadow follows it across the screen as you drop it in place. Once you complete your game, fluid animations bounce the cards across the screen to congratulate you on your effort.
Another area where Panoramic sets itself apart from many developers is the price tag they put on their applications. At a paltry $1.99 from the WMExperts store or the Windows Marketplace for Mobile, it’s hard to argue against the cost with the amount of features that you get from this game.
I don’t know what to say about this game that I haven’t already said. Panoramic has presented an impressive application that executes at a high level with graphics, usability, and features; all while offering a product that only costs a few dollars. If gaming is of any interest to you, Panoramic FreeCell is one of those applications that would just be silly to ignore.
Phil is the father of two beautiful girls and is the Dad behind Modern Dad. Before that he spent seven years at the helm of Android Central. Before that he spent a decade in a newsroom of a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist newspaper. Before that — well, we don't talk much about those days. Subscribe to the Modern Dad newsletter!
I've always been disappointed FreeCell hasn't been built-in to WinMo.
That said, FreeCell is a good game and all, but not worth $2 in my book, especially when Solitaire is free and many other simple card games.
I really like Solitaire City on WinMo. It takes advantage of a WVGA screen, has a good variety of rules and many different solitaire types, including Freecell and Spider. When you drag cards back and forth they sway with the movement of the mouse, which is a nice touch. The price isn't too great, though.
You should have asked them about pricing. I see that most of their apps are reasonable but it would be interesting to get their opinion on why other companies charge so much.
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