Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld has entered the world of mobile game development with the release of Churchill Solitaire on iOS. The game is a variation on the traditional game of solitaire, which, according to Rumsfeld, was created by former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.
In a blog post, Rumsfeld said Churchill taught the game to his protégé André de Staercke, who, in turn, taught the game to Rumsfeld in the 1970s. Javelin, a digital and communications agency, oversaw the game’s creation.
Churchill Solitaire uses two 52-card decks, with cards placed in ten piles on the board. The overall goal sees players working to create eight piles of cards, which begin with ace and end with king. Players move cards from one pile on the board to the next to create lines of cards which alternate in color and descend in order, and can draw additional cards when they’ve run out of moves. These new cards are played directly onto the board’s existing piles, but are only played on piles that don’t begin with a king.
In addition to the 10 card piles, players must clear six separate cards, called the Devil’s Six, which are placed at the top of the screen. These cards must be played in order to the eight card piles, and can’t be played to the main game board.
While playing, users can spend a limited number of hints and undos, and can purchase additional hints and undos via in-app purchase.
It’s a card game that can frustrate even the most skilled player because a single move can make or break an entire game. A number of hands are simply unwinnable. But the most steadfast players will gamely soldier on to find their way to victory.
Churchill Solitaire offers three free trial deals, one for each of three difficulty settings, while the game’s campaign levels can be unlocked in packs of 25 levels for $0.99 each. Players can also upgrade to the premium version of the game, which gives them access to unlimited random deals, for $4.99.
Rumsfeld said his profits, and the Churchill family’s profits from the game will go to charity.
Churchill Solitaire is available to download for free on the iTunes App Store, and is coming soon to Android.