Regency Solitaire II Review

Regency Solitaire 2 header

Video game adaptations of classic literature are relatively few and far between, which is a little surprising considering their popularity in the world of TV and film, if a little more understandable when you think about the comparative lack of action. Even standout examples such as the ludicrous Dante’s Inferno are almost completely unrecognisable from their source material. One of the best exceptions to this rule, however, was the original Regency Solitaire – a game that was clearly heavily inspired by Jane Austen whilst remaining legally distinct. The chilled out gameplay and authentic feeling narrative of that title made it a real joy to play, so I was understandably excited to check out the sequel, Regency Solitaire II.

Following on from the romantic adventures of Bella in the original game we now find her happily married and setting out on renovating the garden of her new home. This provides both the initial narrative thrust and the context for the upgrades you unlock as you progress. In true Austenian fashion, your journey will take you across various areas of Regency-era England (and Scotland too) whilst also bringing in a host of familiar characters. The narrative is presented once again through static dialogue screens, but still has the visual charm of the original so this shouldn’t bother you too much.

I played through the entire game and the included second campaign on Steam Deck and was delighted to find that full touch controls are included as standard. This made the whole process far more intuitive than pad controls would – although there are a few minor issues with accurately selecting bonus cards, which could be a bit of a fat finger issue, to be fair. The whole UI and ingame screen are perfectly designed for clarity and ease of interpretation and the game feels like a worthy continuation of the already polished first game. Music is also well suited to the atmosphere with gentle classically inflected tunes accompanying your journey.

Regency Solitaire 2 Edgerton Hall

At heart the game is, of course, a version of Solitaire, so the basic gameplay offers no huge surprises. The innovations come in the form of power ups and obstacle cards and these are gradually introduced as you make your way through the game. Later levels offer up a combination of challenges that nicely balances your increasing skill and abilities. Every hand you play gives you gold as a reward which you can spend on garden improvements and in turn unlock powers or passive abilities. At first you may need to save up for some of the more expensive items but I quickly found myself in the Mr Darcy position of having considerable income with little to spend it on. This made the shop aspect a little unnecessary but it does offer up an in-game reason for the upgrades.

Most of the powers you unlock involve ways of removing specific cards that can block your progress if not able to be matched. Successful matches and combos fill your powers as you play so the game encourages you to use them. There are also occasional card drops that refill a random skill that can really come in handy.

Alongside the basic mechanic of matching cards from your hand with ones either one number higher or lower, some sets of cards will be blocked by locks or covered in butterflies meaning that they must be matched twice. These aren’t complex obstacles but they offer up enough of a challenge to make you plan and adapt to them.

Regency Solitaire 2 gameplay

Successful matches can be strung together for combos that reward you with extra gold. These combos often rely on well-judged use of skills as well as a little good fortune. Every level in the game is made up of ten hands and there are goals to meet within these as well as simply progressing. I found myself so hooked that I completed all the goals and cleared every hand completely for three star scores which took a little under ten hours. The nature of the game means that replay is dependent on your enjoyment of the basic game rather than any emergent narrative outcome but there are some nicely challenging achievements to aim for that will encourage high level play – as well as a hard mode.

Regency Solitaire II is the perfect sequel and deserves to take a place in the library of any fan of chilled out games. Whether you’re intending a quick game over a coffee break or want to go for the intensive immersion akin to losing yourself in a classic novel, Grey Alien have nailed the tone and mechanics to produce an utterly charming title.
  • Perfectly judged adaptation of Austen setting
  • Charming aesthetics and storyline
  • Nails the chilled out gameplay
  • It is admittedly very similar to the first game
Written by
Just your average old gamer with a doctorate in Renaissance literature. I can mostly be found playing RPGs, horror games, and oodles of indie titles. Just don't ask me to play a driving game.