The FreeBSD 'zine

July 2000 : FreeBSD Games

Games Review - pySol
by Michelle Sutton <[email protected]>

This month I've got yet another Solitaire type game. It's called PySol and is absolutely packed with Solitaire variations. This game is a graphical application written in Python and it is available in the FreeBSD ports collection.


pySol has heaps of handy features. It has a save function, so you can come back to those half finished games, help options to explain the workings of each game, hints for the next move, animation, sound and heaps more. It has an easy interface, the typical GUI like those found in Windows, KDE, and Gnome applications. PySol is a Python program and has the added bonus of being available on any system that supports Python and it's graphical extensions (not just FreeBSD).

There would be well in excess of 100 different variations of your favorite card games as well as the stock standard Solitaire game. They are well categorized and some of the more well known categories are:

  • Freecell
  • Klondike
  • Golf
  • Mahjongg

Playing the game

I have decided to center my efforts on one variation called "Braid". This is a two pack card game where the object is to stack the cards in their suits, however you don't start with a set card. The computer randomly selects a starting point by giving you one card. For this example I will use 9 diamonds. From this starting point you have to make the decision of whether the suit will go up or down - so to the 9D you can add either 10D or 8D, whichever is chosen, that is how the rest of the suits must also go.

The layout for Braid is fairly complex - as you can see from the example. Starting from the right, there are the suit piles (two for each suit as it is a two pack game), to the left of this are the stock piles which flip one card at a time (but only three rounds are permitted), we now have three groups of cards, the center one is the 'Braid' and around it there are 4 cards in a square (top left, top right, bottom left and bottom right), these cards are for the braid to feed to, when one of these is used the braid refills the space with the next braid card. The eight remaining cards (four each side) are used for a general holding space, when you take one of them for the suit piles you can refill it with a card from the stock pile - usually one that will be needed fairly soon.

This is a strategy game - it is important to assess the cards in the braid before making the decision to go up or down as a win can depend on this decision. Once this decision has been made, the game is quite simple. I would also recommend that when adding to the suit piles, use the cards from the braid or the braid feed piles first, as the successful outcome of the game greatly depends on unravelling the braid. Once this is done, success is almost guaranteed.


I thought pySol (and particularly Braid) was quite good - lots of variety for those who soon get bored with one or two games. There are plenty of variations of Solitaire to keep you busy, some of which are quite challenging. There are plenty of features to help you out at all levels of skill, plus there is the indispensable save option.

For all of you card game addicts out there, you can't go past PySol.

Current Issue
. Issue #06 : July 2000

Old Issues
. Issue #01 : February 2000
. Issue #02 : March 2000
. Issue #03 : April 2000
. Issue #04 : May 2000
. Issue #05 : June 2000

Quick Links
. Table of Contents
. Mailing Lists
. FreeBSD Events
. User Group Calendar
. Site Statistics
. Old Articles
. Latest News
. Press Releases
. Contribute
. Send us Feedback
. Other Resources
. Submit an Article
. Submit an Event

Today's Fortune
"A witty saying proves nothing." -- Voltaire

FreeBSD 'zine Poll
Are you going to BSDCon?
What the hell is BSDCon?
Results More polls

. VicFUG

. Issue #01 : Download
. Issue #02 : Download
. Issue #03 : Download
. Issue #04 : Download
. Issue #05 : Download
. Issue #06 : Download


Runs on FreeBSD

Add Channel to My Netscape


Contact: <[email protected]>
This site and the tarballs are built every 6 hours.
Copyright � 1998-2000, The FreeBSD 'zine
Code revision: 07/24/2000��All rights reserved.