Tag Archives: videogames

Favorite Things: Mondo Solitaire

Windows Solitaire on Mac

Windows has shipped with a decent solitaire since time immemorial, but if you’re a Mac user you’ve typically had to go out and find one. When I switched from Windows to Mac several years ago I embarked on a quest to find (if not the best than at least) a decent version of the classic 52 card game for one.

Burning Monkey Solitaire was a cutesy collection of solitaire games, but it got annoying quickly. I also tried my hand at multiple variants of PySol, the venerable Open Source solitaire game engine, but they were too Linuxy (you know, ugly) for my taste.


After years of searching, I finally found the perfect solitaire implementation for Mac—Mondo Solitaire by longtime Mac Developer, Ambrosia Software.

Mondo Solitaire Klondike

Ambrosia has been making quality Mac apps and games for nearly 20 years and they really nailed it with Mondo. The game is beautiful. The animations are effective without being distracting. Card decks are good looking and playing surface is too.

Preferences - Appearance

Mondo ships with hundreds of solitaire variations—not that you’ll be playing more than a handful of them . From familiar favorites like Klondike, FreeCell, Golf, and Spider to some more obscure gamestyles like Devil’s Garden, Miss Milligan, and Will o’ the Wisp there are plenty of options to keep you busily entertained.

Mondo Solitaire - Golf

Mondo Solitaire is available for Mac OS X and can be purchased via the Mac App Store or directly from Ambrosia Software and costs $9.99. A version of Mondo Solitaire is also available for the iPad and iPhone and sells for $5.99 and $4.99, respectively.

Mondo Solitaire - FreeCell 2

Forgive the hyperbole, but Apple should license Mondo Solitaire and bundle it with every Mac, iPad, and iPhone they ship. They’d sell a lot more devices to grandparents than they currently do.

What’s your favorite Solitaire game? Sound off in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

Favorite Things: iCade by Ion Audio

The iCade by Ion Audio started life as an elaborate hoax by the fine folks over at ThinkGeek. Real world demand was so high for this mini arcade wonder for Apple’s tablet that ThinkGeek paired up with Ion Audio to bring it to life.

I wanted an iCade even before I had an iPad. And after owning one for several months it’s become one of my favorite things.


The iCade pairs with your iPad as a BlueTooth keyboard. It has an extremely authentic and functional joystick along with real, honest-to-goodness analog buttons. Best of all, they nailed it on looks—the iCade cabinet looks like it could have come straight out of your local pizza joint.

Touch controls have ushered in a whole new UI for gameplay mechanics. These new controls aren’t necessarily the best for platformers or traditional arcade games; they still work best with physical controls.

As for games, the iCade is no slouch in that respect. At present count there are over 400 games with support for the iCade with more being added all the time. A complete list compatible games can be found here.


If you get an iCade your first download should be Atari’s Greatest Hits. It’s free and comes with a couple of vintage hits from their catalog. Classics like Asteroids, Centipede, Missile Command, Breakout, and more can be purchased in-app.

Another must-buy, Midway Arcade, recently added iCade support. For a $0.99 it comes with 10 games including such arcade staples as Joust and Defender. I spent the extra buck via in-app-purchase to add Gauntlet and Gauntlet II (“Red Wizard needs food, badly!”) and Wizards of Wor.

I’m happy to say that the iCade works as advertised. It’s a retrogaming powerhouse that takes me back to a time when I couldn’t get enough quarters to pump into the local arcade.

As much as I’d like to, I doubt I’ll ever own an actual arcade cabinet. For under a hundred dollars (plus the cost of an iPad) the iCade is the next best thing. You can buy an iCade from ThinkGeek.

What games would like to see on the iCade? Sound off in the comments below.

All images are from my flickr, unless otherwise noted.

Download Back to the Future for Free! (Game)

Guybrush Threepwood

Image via Wikipedia

For a limited time Telltale Games is offering Back to the Future—Episdoe 1 as a free download for both Mac and PC.

Telltale games have done an excellent job of resurrecting the Adventure Game as a genre and have put out some really fun games featuring Strongbad, Sam & Max, as well as Guybrush Threepwood.

Download with confidence—I’m sure this will be great!

Mario Wallpapers

Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.
Photo via my flickr

Just for fun, I took some pictures of some Super Mario toys our kids found inside a few Furuta Choco Eggs while in Singapore. The chocolate is OK, but the toys are fantastic.

I’ve uploaded the pictures to a collection of desktop wallpapers I’ve created on Flickr.

It’sa Me, Mario!

Itsa Me, Mario!
Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.
Photo via my flickr

Toad Says Hi

Toad Says Hi
Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.
Photo via my flickr

Wario Wants to Take You to the Gun Show

Wario wants to take you to the gun show
Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.
Photo via my flickr

Yoshi on the Run

Yoshi is on the run
Right click link and select “save link as…” to download.
Photo via my flickr

What’s the best or strangest thing you’ve ever gotten out of an egg (other than the obvious)? Was it worth turning into a wallpaper? Sound off in the comments below.

It’s a Secret to Everybody

It's a Secret to Everybody.

In the classic adventure RPG the Legend of Zelda, the hero, Link, is encouraged to explore the world in search of treasure to aid him in his quest.

In his wanderings, no stone (or tombstone for that matter) lies unturned, no tree unburned, and no wall unbombed (is that even a word?).

When he sees those five magic words, “It’s a Secret to Everybody” Link is rewarded instantly with what have taken a seeming lifetime (in videogame time) to accumulate.

In real life, if this were the way you roamed the world you’d leave behind yourself a string of civil and criminal lawsuits instead of bags full of rupees.

However, demolition and arson aside, a great lesson can be learned from Link. We live in an amazing world with so many wondrous places to go and sights to see. It’s possible to stay on the marked path and still win the game.

But then you’d miss out on sights like this,

La Portada

and this,

Valle de la Luna

and this,

Private Beach, JW Marriott

and this,

Chalang Big Buddha

and this.

Phi Phi Islands

Where have your wanderings led you? Where do you still want to go?