Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I'm a Spider Addict

They say the first thing you have to do to get well is admit your addiction. Okay, here goes. I’m addicted to Spider Solitaire. The difficult version, that is, the one played with all four suits. I’ve won over 378 games, and have a high score of 1110. Of course, these stats are probably higher—I reset them the last time I hit 500 games. I can beat the easy level in 95 moves, my best being 90.

Spider Solitaire comes free with Windows XP, but I had it even before that. My daughters like to play, but they cannot stand how I can win and they can’t. My ex husband couldn’t win either, but I’m a guru.

Spider has taken over everything. I used to play Free Cell and was good, but once I found Spider Solitaire, Free Cell was a goner. It didn’t have the challenges or the excitement. Minesweeper is also fun, and my best time on the easy level is 14 seconds. But Minesweeper gets boring, not to mention noisy when I blow up.

I think that my ability to play Spider Solitaire goes back to playing games of Double Solitaire with my stepsister. I’m not sure exactly how you play anymore, but you take two decks of cards and the goal is to clear suits in the most moves or less. It’s laid out with four card piles in two rows each, and you have so many cards, then you try to make holes to move things around, which is what you do in Spider Solitaire. In the doubles version, you can challenge and take over if you can make the play in fewer moves. Judy and I were brutal, not giving each other an inch. Along with puzzles (those all white seals or black cats were our favorites), we could keep ourselves occupied in the early eighties, back before MTV was a household staple (and when it played music videos).

I play hearts on the computer too, and my kids are good at that game and enjoy renaming the players. I’ve never mastered bridge, but I played spades in college and was a wicked partner. I didn’t lose much. Then came video games, and the challenge moved to the small screen. I loved Zelda on the first Nintendo, and after mastering being Link, could win in one life, without ever dying. Remember, back then “save game” was rare. I still hate the Teenage Ninja Turtles game for not thinking of that rather nice feature. If you lost at the very end, it was start all the way over from level one.

Now my kids play a Zelda version I don’t recognize on the Wii, and I play card games while I’m checking email or pretending I’m going to write the book I have due. I figure it’s my vice, and everyone needs at least one, and I rationalize that it’s better than eating potato chips. Still, I really should find something else to do that makes better use of my time. I probably could have a lot more books written if I wrote instead of moved cards around. But it’s all mental, and rather entertaining.

So what about you? Any vices? Any games you can’t live without?


Anonymous said...

Mahjong Titans - it's a tile game where you have to find the matching tile. Some are blocked because there is another tile that needs to be removed first. They also come in different forms - dragon, cat, fortress, crab. I noticed if I pick the wrong match I either gain more matches or lose. It came with my computer and I am addicted.

Gillian Layne said...

I LOVE Bejeweled. Pretty colors, hypnotic music...it cracks my girls up.

Anonymous said...

Gillian and Marcie,

I've never heard of those! I'll have to check them out. Games are such a great way to relieve stress, and procrastinate. LOL


Estella said...

I guess I am not a game player. I spend my time reading and blogging.

Trish Milburn said...

I like online word games, like the ones that are available free on Yahoo or Facebook.