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Subject: Ice Solo5 - Review rss

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Frances McGregor
Canada
The Pas
Manitoba
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Ice Solo is a Treehouse solitaire game that can be played with a Volcano set (without caps) in 4x4 and 5x5 versions. I played the 5x5 version because I had 5 colours. I haven't tried the 4x4 version, but I suspect it would be largely the same.

The rules are found here: http://ryanker.com/IcehouseGames/IceSolo/IceSolo5.html

Setup the game by stacking the pyramids into trees on a 5x5 grid such that no stack has two of the same colour stacked on top of each other. IE, a blue drone should not be on top of a blue queen.
(The rules detail that the setup is part of the game and should be done in a specific way, but I find that it distracts from the main gameplay so I just skip it and place the pieces randomly).


Ice Solo setup and ready to go.

The main goal is to get all the pyramids into 25 same-coloured nests by using the following rules:

-Only the top piece of a tree can move.
-A Pyramid can only move horizontally or vertically.
-A pyramid can only be placed on top of the same colour pyramid.
-Pawns can be placed in empty spaces.
-Once a nest is complete, it can not be disassembled or moved.

Once there are no more legal moves, then scoring is done, which is detailed on the rules page.

I really enjoy this solo game. It reminds me a lot of the Freecell card game, where there is no hidden information and you are trying to organize the cards/pieces. You have to think several moves ahead and bad moves won't reveal themselves until later in the game when it's difficult to fix them.

The scoring system also adds levels of difficulty to the game. If the game is too hard, just try to get 25 full nests. If it's too easy, then try to go for full style points, or a specific design.

To give you a sense of the difficulty, I have not gotten a perfect score in Ice Solo yet, while I have always gotten a perfect score in solo Volcano.

I think what makes this game challenging is that you can't move nests once they're complete. Once the nests start becoming complete, it be comes critical to move the existing pieces with care, or else you might not be able to make a nest where you want to (or even at all!).

If you find Volcano too easy and you enjoy puzzle-like, brain burning solo games, give this one a try.
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Spencer C
Netherlands
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Nice review. Definitely gonna check this one out. I too find solo volcano to be almost trivial, so I'm glad to hear this presents a larger challenge.
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Ryan McGuire
United States
South Euclid
Ohio
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It's great to see some interest in this game.

I've played maybe a dozen 5x5 games. The highest I've gotten so far is 65. (25 nests + 5 fully nested + 25 for rainbow rows + 10 for rainbow columns).
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