The cheevos are in!

Firstly, many thanks to George and Bart for their thoughts about cheevos. Also, thanks to Chefverse for liking my cheevo post. There is no indication of whether he she or ze actually knows Spider Solitaire or whether he she or ze just likes my engaging writing style 😊 But I’ll take it regardless!

George suggested dealing all cards before making a single move. He claims he succeeded on the first try with two suits sans Zeekee followed by twenty losses in a row. I experimented with this and it does not look feasible.

Bart suggested suits should ideally be removed in pairs. If we ignore cheevos then most wins at the four-suit level occur with the first four suits removed being one of each suit. It would be rare to have e.g. DHDCHSCS with all red cards removed by the fifth triumphant C major chord (assuming we play the Microsoft Windows version). Rarer still would be something like CCHHSSDD, which is the sort of pairing Bart is talking about. Bart also mentioned the possibility of removing a complete suit before the third deal. Both of these are reasonable cheevos.

Bart also mentioned a potential problem with late cheevos: if you have to struggle for half the game before being in a position to even attempt the cheevo then the fun coefficient is not as high as it should be.

Ergo, I think it will be more fun to specify multiple cheevos, in order to increase the chances that we should be in a position to attempt at least one of ‘em. To be more specific let us assume a win is worth 10 happy stars and each additional cheevo is worth less than 10 – and we try to maximise our expected number of happy stars. Since my suggested cheevos are inherently superior to anyone else’s mine will be worth three and Bart’s are only worth 1 bwahhahahahahahah😉

Note that some of these cheevos do not require winning the game. These are marked with an asterisk (*).

  • Cocky: if the game is going well, deal the last 20 cards as a single unit and still manage to win.
  • Auto-complete*: Deal an in-suit ace onto an existing run of King through Deuce, thus completing a suit.
  • Trevor’s Quickie*: Get an empty column in 6(5) moves for columns 1-4 (5-10)
  • Bart’s Quickie*: remove a suit before third deal
  • Nigiri: remove suits in pairs (as suggested by Bart)

Fun fact: Nigiri refers to a protocol for deciding colours in the game of Baduk. It is based on arranging stones in pairs and having one player guess whether the number of stones is odd or even.

As an additional incentive to encourage more interaction on my blog, anyone who contributes at least one meaningful comment before the game ends – win or lose – is worth 1 happy star (except of course Bart and George). So in theory we could win well over 10 happy stars, but remember contributions must be meaningful!

NOTE: We will not be concerned with the number of moves. Hopefully this will simplify the decision making, since I anticipate that keeping track of multiple cheevos will not be trivial. As we gain experience with cheevos, hopefully we can increase the complexity!

The game will begin tomorrow. I will start a new game on Windows 10 and there will be no mulligan if the starting position rot13(fhpxf).

Good luck!

Cheevo, away we go!

We’ve all been there.

Playing Spider Solitaire is no longer fun. Winning is too easy, even at the four-suit level, sans ZeeKee (as George will say) and playing an online server that is known to be biased #yeahright. Not enough frustration in our lives? Do you need more challenges to keep life meaningful?

Enter our old friend, the Cheevo.

Originally used to describe achievements earned through various games on the Xbox360 and other platforms, the C-word has been made universal throughout all kinds of games, including cerebral pursuits that don’t involve the curse of Nintendo Thumb. Cheevos are not the official goal(s) the protagonist is trying to obtain, but are optional extras invented by game fanatics who crave an extra challenge.

For instance, I once beat a very strong chess player without moving my queen off her starting square. My opponent blundered horribly and had to give up the material equivalent of four pawns for no compensation. He immediately resigned – but had he been paying more attention to my queen throughout the game he might have continued playing out of spite, just to wreck my cheevo. Chess fans may recall that Magnus Carlsen pulled off a similar feat against Viswanathan Anand (and also promoting a pawn to a second queen!) Similarly, a poker expert might hope to win first prize in a home game without ever showing down AA in Texas Holdem. And of course, every serious bridge player above the legal drinking age knows the significance of the Seven of Diamonds!

So, what possible cheevos can we have in Spider Solitaire? The short answer is you are only limited by your imagination.

For instance, one cheevo is to remove all eight suits in the last eight moves of the game. I suspect this will be very difficult with four suits sans ZeeKee, even for an expert player. Another cheevo might be some form of multi-tasking, such as improvising a rap song describing your thought processes while simultaneously playing to the best of your ability. What other cheevos can you think of? Remember that you are only limited by your imagination!