Crescent Solitaire – Game test

by Tigerduck

Oh yes, I can still remember how often I played "Free Cell", that was brought with Windows 95, to relax during my working breaks. (Of course never during regular work... *cough*)

Fandal, PG, Poison and Cupid made a conversion of this gameplay for the ATARI 8bit Computer.

In fact, it is a simple card game. This is from the instructions page:

Building on the left stacks is either up or down by suit and can go round-the-corner.

Only one card can be moved at a time. Cards cannot be moved from the foundations to the left stacks.

In easy difficulty, open spaces can be used and you have unlimited shuffles. In normal difficulty, open spaces cannot be used. In hard difficulty, you have a maximum of 5 shuffles.

A card placed on a foundation stack is worth 350 points. You receive 20 points for each second left on the timer as time bonus. Hint costs you 150, undo 200 and shuffle 1000 points.

The game starts with a nice title screen in big letters and a menu. The driving title sound invites you in stereo.

In the menu you can select the difficulty or the input device. (Joystick, ST-Mouse or Amiga-Mouse). And, of course, the game instructions mentioned before in this text.

Pressing the "START" button leads to the game.
The mice must be connected to port 2 to be supported! Both mice working excellent with the game, tested on real hardware!

Now let's come to the gameplay. The cards from left stack have to move to the right stack. However, for this task, you have 15:00 minutes, which is very short period for my skills.

As mentioned above, you need on the right stack the correct order.

In order to uncover more cards, it is possible to put down your cards on one of the 15 left stacks. Of course you can do this also on the right stack. So you can swap the cards and then you have the opportunity to move another card from the left to the right area.

Moving the cards is pretty easy. Click on the the card, that should be moved with the pointer, then click onto the new place – done. If you get lost, press "HELP" and you will get a hint which card can be moved. If there are no cards left to move, you can press the "Return" key and the cards on the left will be re-shuffled. With the "Backspace" key you can undo your last move.

But watch out! Every time you use these "cheats", you will lose some points and maybe get a negative score. Depending on the difficulty level, re-shuffles are limited.

Beside the "I want to complete the game within the given time", the score system is an additional motivation. Maybe at the beginning it's a little bit confusing, but just play some rounds and you will soon find out the best way to move the cards. Of course, a bit of luck is always welcome.


After "FreeCell" disappeared from my "Game-Brain" a long time ago, now I had a nice time playing some rounds of "Crescent Solitaire". The conversion of the gameplay is really good and because of some additional features even better than the "original".

A game, I will play for sure from time to time on my ATARI. Started from a cartridge you don't even had the long waiting period until Windows 95 comes up...

My score:

Good (7,4),
Graphics: 6,
Sound: 7,
Motivation: 8

Text and translation: Stefan "Tigerduck" Meyer