Solitaire (1977 video game)

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Solitaire - PLAT - Screenshot - Title Screen.png

Title screen.

Developer Kevin Sheehan
Publisher Control Data
Published 1977-??-??
Platforms PLATO
Genres Cards, Passive puzzle, Puzzle, Single-screen
Distribution Freeware

Solitaire is a video card game developed by Kevin Sheehan and published by Control Data for PLATO in 1977.

As the name suggests, it is a video game version of the card game Klondike solitaire.



After getting access to Cyber1, the online PLATO preservation group, I started looking at the various software loaded on the system. When I saw Solitaire, I was curious to see how a programmer from 1977 would design the game and how it would look and play play. I was expecting a very rough game since all the other pre-Windows solitaire games I've played have been pretty bad, but I was a bit surprised at how good it was. Expecting it would help me become more familiar with the system, I played the game until I beat it.


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Best Version: PLATO

— This section contains spoilers! —


  • It is an accurate interpretation of Klondike solitaire.
  • The game looks remarkably good for 1977.
  • The touch screen support at the time must have been pretty mind-blowing.


  • The monochrome display makes it difficult to distinguish between red and black.
  • There is a noticeable delay after selecting a card when using the touch screen.
  • The keyboard input, though perfectly serviceable, is a bit cumbersome to use.
  • The game auto-detects when you're going to win, which is kind of nice because you don't have to use the slow input to finish it, but it draws the victory message over all the remaining cards on the screen, which looks awful.
  • The game is only the most bare bones form of Klondike solitaire. There are no optional game modes, ways to customize the display, etc.


  • The game is media challenged. I know this was state-of-the-art in 1977 and better looking than the competition would be for years to come, but it still only has 1-bit color, no audio, and no animation.




Strong female character?FailThere are no characters.
Bechdel test?FailThere are no characters.
Strong person of color character?FailThere are no characters.
Queer character?FailThere are no characters.