We know what you're wondering. And no, we're not talking about that confused look on your mug the first time you read the word "soltrio." Rather, who could possibly have the audacity to charge 800 Microsoft Points (about $10.00) for a game that normally requires nothing more than one person and a deck of cards?
Well, it's not entirely fair to write off Soltrio Solitaire that way. This is another game falling within the realm of "family entertainment;" something that publishers have done a very good job with on Live Arcade. Titles like UNO, Totemball, Catan and Feeding Frenzy all have a certain mass-market appeal - just not to the hardcore gamer one normally thinks of when thinking of the Xbox 360.
Soltrio actually offers 18 different types of Solitaire. You'll find everything from Spider to FreeCell to Klondike (the one most people are familiar with) here. And you'll also be treated to a pseudo-role-playing mode where you travel around a map based on scoring well on various games of solitaire. If nothing else, it's a decent motivation to try out every different play type.
Soltrio even tosses in some multiplayer modes. Either on a single system or over Live, you can play co-op and versus games. Both play options are based around two players stealing or sharing cards in the hopes of completing their decks. It's not incredibly robust or engaging, but it's nice to have the option there. Besides, it's no less shallow than some of the classic arcade online modes we've seen on the service thus far.
Still, there's no denying that, well, this is Solitaire. And while there are a lot of different variations on offer here, you need to really love these types of family games to get your money's worth out of Soltrio. Especially when most PCs come loaded with at least one or two versions of the games you'll find in here. Nonetheless, the developer set out to make a good solitaire collection, and they succeeded. So you can't fault them too much for that.