Gnomitaire, a new card game from Arnold Rauers, is not exactly like Solitaire in my mind, but I can see how it’s inspired by the classic. Gnomitaire is for clever gnomes, looking to test their patience and understanding of a simplistic card game that can get more challenging depending on the modes that you select to play.

In Gnomitaire, you get 16 randomly generated cards that then need to be divided into four columns at the top of the screen, by laying cards that match other card types on top of them. You can only see 4 of your own cards at once, in your bottom inventory, so moving cards around becomes the core gameplay.

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Placing the cards down isn't as easy as one would imagine. Each card has a suit, as well as one or more suits listed at the bottom of the card. These bottom suits are the only suits that are able to be placed onto the stack. Each of the four stacks needs one card of each suit - you cannot add two cards of the same suit onto a stack, even if just to place it there for a moment.

This means that you have limited space to move cards around - and as you get closer to filling up the board, there is less room to move around cards and change your stacks up. The normal version of Gnomitaire has games that last around 5 minutes, meaning you can dip into the game, play a round, and then move on quickly!

Gnomitaire has two additional modes along with this first simplistic mode; a challenge mode and a hard mode. The challenge is attached to an online leaderboard, ranking you against 9 other players who are able to complete the challenge in the shortest time. The hard mode is more challenging, with the ability to completely fail the game. It’s a challenge and can take more time than the base game, but if you are truly a clever gnome, you should be fine.

I quite like the short playtime within the game, giving you a bit of challenge while still providing a quick end time. Gnomitaire also has some really lovely graphics, with the gnome always being grumpy when you beat them at their own game. It's also worth mentioning that this game is completely free, with optional reward ads, providing a polished experience that won't cost you a dime.

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