Microsoft Solitaire Collection is a free-to-play digital card solitaire game collection developed and digitally released by Microsoft Studios (co-developed first with Arkadium, then with Smoking Gun Interactive) for the PC on October 26, 2012 and for Windows Phone on October 29, 2012. It was later ported to Android and iOS devices (on November 23, 2016), was made available on online browsers (via MSN Games), and was later included in installations of Windows 10.
Released as an official launch title for the Windows Store for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (alongside Microsoft Mahjong, Microsoft Minesweeper, and Taptiles) and part of the Microsoft Casual Games series, Microsoft Solitaire Collection is a spiritual successor to five games: Solitaire (as "Klondike"), Spider Solitaire (as "Spider"), FreeCell, Tut's Tomb (as "Pyramid"), and TriPeaks. Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, and FreeCell were originally included in earlier versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system while FreeCell, Tut's Tomb, and TriPeaks were originally part of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack series,
In addition to a revamped user interface and multiple themes (with some versions including a customizable theming system), the game features Xbox Live support (including achievements and leaderboards) and multiple challenge modes (where players are given goals for each game, such as reaching a particular score or moving a certain card to the foundation).
As a free-to-play game, it uses in-game advertisements which can be disabled by purchasing a monthly/yearly Premium membership.
Each day, five preset games are provided in the Challenge section (one of each type). These have more specific goals than 'solving' them, instead requiring the player to remove a certain card, reach a particular score, or remove a quantity of some particular card value in a number of deals.
Completing these challenges awards the player "coins", which can't be spent but will count towards badges for that month at certain levels (gold, silver, bronze, and platinum). Daily Challenge games can be played (or replayed) for all days so far that month, with games (and coins) resetting at the beginning of the next month.
Added post-release, Star Cards are collections of Challenges (similar to Daily Challenges) that award "stars". Some collections use specific themes.
In addition to Daily Challenge Badges, the game supports Xbox Achievements, Medals (local mode-specific achievements such as playing 100 rounds of TriPeaks or removing a long chain in Pyramid) as well as Leaderboards which compare scores and Challenge progress against Xbox friends, but not globally. Statistics for each game type are also kept.
The game provides theming support, with several themes provided (such as Classic, Western, and Beach). Themes can be created or customized, allowing the player to choose images from their computer for the background and some cards (Jack, Queen, King and Ace) and a small selection of card designs.
- Klondike - Also known as "Classic Solitaire" in-game. Uses one full deck of playing cards. Players are given seven stacks of cards (with each stack having one more face-down cards than the previous one, in addition to one face-up card) and must manage them, in addition to cards drawn from the remaining deck (drawn to a separate pile), in order to create four full foundation piles (one of each suit). Players can only move cards to a stack with the front-most card having a higher rank of an alternating suit color (Diamond/Heart and Club/Spade). Game options include how many cards are drawn from the deck at a time (Draw 1 or Draw 3) and the scoring type (standard, "Las Vegas", or "Cumulative Vegas").
- Spider - Uses two full decks of playing cards. Players are given ten stacks of cards (with four stacks having five face-down cards and one face-up card and six stacks having four face-down cards and one face-up card) and must manage them, in addition to cards drawn from the remaining deck (which dispenses one face-up card at the front of each stack), in order to create complete sets of single suits (which removes them from the board). Players can only move cards to a stack with the front-most card having a higher rank of any suit and can only move groups of cards with the same suit. Players can choose how many suits to use in the game to determine the game's overall difficulty (1, 2, or 4).
- FreeCell - Uses one full deck of playing cards. Players are given eight stacks of cards (with four stacks having seven face-up cards and four stacks having six face-up cards) and must manage them, with the aid of four open "cells" (which can store one card each), in order to create four full foundation piles (one of each suit). Players can only move cards to a stack with the front-most card having a higher rank of an alternating suit color (Diamond/Heart and Club/Spade). Unlike Klondike and Spider, players can not move groups of multiple cards without having enough open cells or empty stacks to help (as the rules only allow one card move at a time). Unlike other games, players can input a specific "random seed" number to determine the starting layout.
- Pyramid - Uses one full deck of playing cards. Players are given 28 face-up cards, stacked in a 7-level "Pyramid", and must remove as many cards from the pyramid as they can by matching cards at the front of the pyramid (as well as cards from the remaining deck and waste pile) whose ranks add up to the number 13. Jack, Queen, and King counts as the numbers 11, 12, and 13. Players can only refresh the deck twice.
- TriPeaks - Uses one full deck of playing cards. Players are given 28 cards, stacked in three four-level overlapping "pyramids" (or "peaks"), with only the front-most 10 cards face-up. They must remove as many cards from the peaks as they can by forming a sequence of rank (with Aces linking between Kings and Twos), then drawing a new card from the pile of remaining 24 cards to reset the sequence. The game is scored (with bonus points for clearing peaks) and is played cumulatively, with the object to clear as many boards as possible within three "deals" (with free deals for clearing boards).