I honestly haven’t tried as many games that use a regular deck of cards as I probably should have. I do view them as a subcategory of PnP, particularly in the case of games like Nytelyfe Solitaire that, while 100% abstract, still have a theme and rules that reflect that theme.
In Nytelyfe Solitaire, you are trying to survive the night in Las Vegas, dealing with high stake games and high-end clubs and vampires. Okay, what was the last one? Part of me wonders if the Vampire column was originally something a bit more mundane.
Here’s the gist of the game: there are five areas that will become columns of cards as the game goes on. Each turn, you draw five cards without looking at them and, one at a time, reveal and place them in each area. Each area has a different set of rules and may cause cards to be flipped over. The game ends when you have a certain number of cards face down (depending on the difficulty you choose) or you run through the deck. You score points based on the number of face-up cards in the You and Diamond Club columns with twenty being a perfect score.
I haven’t played the game enough to figure out how much real decision making power you really have. Luck obviously plays a part and a bad turn can really affect your end score. (For instance, the Diamond Club will only score diamond cards so drawing five diamonds in a turn will cost you four points) But I also think that between card counting and a general understanding of probability, there will he room for good play. I think you have some control.
I also like that it does have a theme and creates a story. That adds a lot to my enjoyment and interest in playing the game. The theme is why I keep playing The Shooting Party and I’m pretty sure Nytelyfe Solitaire is a better game than The Shooting Party. I don’t think it’s as good as The Bogey (or Lamarkian Poker for non-solitaire play) but it’s promising.
I don’t yet know if Nytelyfe Solitaire has the legs for a lot of replay but it was a fun surprise.