Heartwild Solitaire Giveaway

imageI’ve written about Heartwild Solitaire a few times, both here and on Twitter, and a few of you have downloaded the free version and yelled at me for allowing you access to such a huge timeslurp. It’s very pretty, this game, and the storyline is more than just your free version from that software company that comes installed on your PC with that other game with the mines that I suck at.

So Darek, mastermind of Heartwild, has offered me five free download coupons, good for the full version of the game, to give away to those of you who might need to take a soft, relaxing, click-click-click brainbreak while at your computers. Interested? Easy to win: just leave a comment, and tell me about how much time a day you spend playing games on your computer. I’m curious – because I suspect women play more than many people might think. Comments close in 24 hours.

Disclaimer: I’m not being compensated for this giveaway, although I might be bugging Derek for pointers on snowboarding. The data contained herein is for informational purposes only and is not represented to be error free unless I haven’t had enough caffeine. In which case your mileage may vary. This message is confidential. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is intentional but purely coincidental. Do not remove this disclaimer under penalty of law. Machine wash cold, tumble dry on low.

I had some questions for Sir Darek, and he was nice enough to answer:

Why a romance storyline? How’d you come up with that?

Darek: Back in the days, when we were doing shoot’em up games (you know, stuff teenagers play), I was longing to work on a game with more story and deeper emotions. We grew up on old school adventure games, which were just starting to get somewhere, but then the market died in late 90-ties.

Later casual games started exploding and it brought lots of new players. What was weird—mainly women. And I thought this could be our chance to do something new. We first considered various half-assed ways of testing the waters, doing me-too projects, but then a crazy idea dawned on me—romance games.

This was a pretty much non-existent category and I thought it shouldn’t be this way. I mean, I know why it isn’t popular with teenage boys ;) but now that women were getting into games as well things could finally change.

Romance novels are a perfect mix of exciting story with strong emotions and that’s something I’d really love to see in games. So we decided to go all in—focus on romance and keep making games until we get the mixture right.

Heartwild Solitaire is just a first step in that direction. We already have few more titles planned ahead so you should expect more romance from us… shortly :)

How exactly did you figure out that more casual gamers were women?  Demographic studies or self reporting?

Darek: I’ve heard casual gaming portals saying that the split between male/female for them is about 60/40, with most women being between 30 and 60.

Wikipedia cites sources that claim 74% of women: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casual_game

I haven’t ran any stats on our site, but from a quick glance at first names on our orders I’d say that at *least* 90% are women. Or men cleverly hiding behind female names ;) Maybe it’s because we just assume that our customer is a woman and we design our games, website and everything for women specifically. That probably doesn’t make us too attractive to men, but hopefully it’ll fit with women more. I hope.

So here’s a big question: have you read some romances? And if so which ones?

Darek: Good question :) I haven’t really read any typical romance book, but that’s on my todo list. Maybe you could recommend me few titles I should start with?

To be fair though, I am a sucker for emotional stories. Especially in the cinema. I love what French people do here, at least the old school. Do you know Andre Techine or, recently deceased, Eric Rohmer? They had some great relationship/romance themed movies and French… ah, they are so good in portraying subtle, fragile emotions. I also loved the 50-60’s in American cinema. Tennesee Williams’ days of Fugitive kind, Can on a hot thin roof, Streetcar… etc. Good stuff from Newman, Brando and others. And of course my dearest Bogart in Casablanca – all time best romance movie! :)

With books it’s mostly Polish stuff so I doubt you’d know Hlasko or Lysiak ;) And for the last 8 years or so I’ve been reading pretty much only non fiction (I’m a sucker for pop psychology, personal development, spirituality as well as business and marketing), so yeah, I’d appreciate any good book recommendations.

Ok, then: got any recommendations for emotional stories Darek might like?

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Beth says:

    I don’t have any recommendations, but I can tell you how long I spend a day playing games on my computer: far too long! “just one more game”…..and suddenly it’s far past my bedtime. Damn you, spider solitaire!

  2. 2
    Theresa says:

    Far too much time, that’s how much I time I spend playing casual computer games.  Far. Too. Much.  I like puzzle games and adventure games, and jayisgames.com, a site that reviews casual games, was a very happy discovery for me a couple years ago.  If you’re ever looking for some good games to play, look for their “best of” for each year.  Oh and I’ve recently been sucked into the Nancy Drew adventure games from Her Interactive.

    Anyway.  Yes, as you can see, I would love to win a free game!

  3. 3
    Bibliophile says:

    I used to spend a couple of hours a day playing computer games, mostly Tetris, Mahjongg and various solitaire games, but I also played text-based games back in the early days of the Internet. The last graphics-based game I spent any time on was the first Discworld game. Since then I have pretty much given up on computer gaming because I haven’t found one that appeals to me. Heartwild Solitaire sounds like something I could become engrossed it.

  4. 4
    Katherine B. says:

    No recommendations, and I don’t actually want to win the game download, thanks.

    But, sure count me as a demographic representative. In my 30’s, and playing games.

    On the computer, averaged over a week, I’d say I spend 3 hours playing a game, unless I’ve just bought a fresh shiny one, in which case, jack that number up to 8-12 hours a week. I’ll play a casual game (Plants vs Zombies!! Great one), but my interest lies more in RPG/First Person shooter cross-overs and hack and slash games.

    I’ll also add, that I have two game consoles, a PSX2, and an Xbox 360. I don’t use them as often as the computer, but again, if there’s a fresh game (Bayonetta! My GOD that is a great female empowerment game!), I’ll play on these rather than the computer.

    I don’t really consider myself a huge geek though. Honest. I got lotsa interests.

  5. 5
    Julie says:

    I play different games daily either downloaded or online. I really should be doing something else, but they are addictive. I probably spend 2-3 hrs a day.

  6. 6
    Hanne says:

    I spend… Far to much time playing spider solitaire. I bought a collection of solitaire games for my mac for $17 three or four years ago, and I don’t think I’ve ever spent that little mony for that many hours of entertainment – braindead, but still entertainment. I generally don’t sit down just to play the solitaire games, but I do it while I do other mindless stuff – like watching TV, for instance. All the clicking drives my hubby crazy, but he cliks away on Farmville, so I guess we’re about even.

  7. 7
    Mafuane says:

    You want to know how long I spend playing video games? well you’ve certainly asked the right question! For I am a student with lots of free time!
    Right now, Dragon Age is taking up the whole of my day :D with it’s damn addictiveness, and when I don’t play that Tree of Tranquility on the wii has taken me a whole month, trying to woo the character of my choice and build my little farm, not to mention save the Harvest Goddess!
    While I was doing my exams Heartwild solitare was my thing to do to relax after those hours of pouring over books :P but I never won a game, I am bad at Klondike :(. I’m big on casual games, love the Nancy Drew Dossier and the Edgar Allen Poe search games!
    Oh and I musn’t forget Fire Emblem, love trying out different tactics to win a battle. SO yeah, I find games another way of being invovled with a story, that’s why I play them so much :P, I’m not really someone who wants to win every achievement on hard mode, no no no.

  8. 8
    HeatherK says:

    I spend way too much time playing computer games of all types. I’ll think, I’ll just play for a little while, and the next thing I know hours have gone by. It’s a weakness, I tell ya.

  9. 9
    jessica says:

    Far, far too much time.  And I particularly like the “casual gamer” type of games such as Sally’s Salon and Farm Frenzy.  I would love this game because solitaire is a great short break between stints of writing my dissertation (as is Facebook).

  10. 10
    Larn says:

    I was actually pleased that my Mac didn’t come with solitaire pre-loaded.  It got me focused…for about two weeks, until I discovered internet-based solitaire.  Then, it was all kinds of over. 

    Still, I probably only play about an hour or so every now and then.  I tend to pull it up when I’m having long phone conversations to keep my mind and fingers busy, esp. if it’s a boring conversation I can’t get out of.  It actually helps to have part of my brain active!  I’ve been accused of not paying attention, but never when playing.  Go figure.

  11. 11
    Laura (in PA) says:

    Ugh. Games. Well, I’m totally addicted to Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook. And I love Jewel Quest. And I get sucked into Three Towers Solitaire on Facebook as well.

    They block us out of any game sites at work, but now I have an iPhone. I have loaded apps for Solitaire, WordSearch, Minesweeper (which SB Sarah apparently sucks at), Hangman, Tap Tap, Pac Man, Doodle Jump, and yes, Bejeweled. And I never, ever, play them at my desk when I’m supposed to be working. Never. Ever. Ahem.

    So, yeah, I end up getting sucked in for hours, especially at night when I’m playing on Facebook. So add me to your demographics – female, 40s, and fanatic about games.

    This Hearwild Solitaire sounds amazing. Do they have an app for that?

  12. 12
    Andrea says:

    Well, until I discovered Heartwild Solitaire here I haven’t played any games for a long time – I’d rather read.  But now I play more – though not every day – and always longer than I planned.  And I like it better than the normal solitaire because it is much nicer to look at.

  13. 13
    Heather says:

    I have a series recommendation.  I like the Suzanne Brockmann Trobleshooters books.  I think those have a relationship focus and there is also enough other stuff going on to make it a good read.  I’m in for a free download.

  14. 14
    maris39 says:

    Don’t enter me (I already have the game) – but to add to your demographics set… I spend a LOT of time on computer games – the actual hours fluctuate depending on how much ‘real life’ stuff is going on, but generally 20 or so hours a week.  This is what I do instead of TV.

    I like online MMO’s – used to play Everquest and then got into World of Warcraft – to which I’ve been addicted since it came out. I also play casual games occasionally and strategy games like Civilization and Age of Empires.

    Female, about to be 40 :)

  15. 15
    Kimberly Anne says:

    I bought the full version of Heartwild Solitaire within days of downloading the free one (so don’t give me the coupon), and I can vouch for its awesomeness.  Such a pretty, pretty timesuck.

    I play games easily a couple hours a day.  I love adventure and puzzle games (Theresa, if you dig Nancy Drew, you’ll really like the Mystery Case Files series – go for the two Ravenhearst titles or Dire Grove, they’re incredible), word games, mahjong, RPGs, time management titles, match 3…you name it.

    Last year, my husband got me a membership to Big Fish Games to feed my addiction, and I love it.  One game credit a month, good for any game on the site.  For seven bucks a pop.  Yes, please.

  16. 16
    Annie says:

    I spend *hours* playing games. My best friend’s boyfriend can’t figure it out: he’s the gamer, yet his girlfriend and her best friend easily put in 7 hours of “gaming” when they can. The only difference? We play “casual” games, things like Heartwild (which I desperately want to download, but haven’t convinced myself to pay the money for the full version) and CakeMania, and other dining/cooking sorts of games.

  17. 17
    El says:

    Huh. Had no idea we women game players were Legion.

    These days, it’s mostly Solitaire—an hour or two a day, the old-fashioned kind and Spider. But in my youth—Tetris endlessly, text adventure games, Rogue. Lots and lots. Later, Snood. (Once had my high score up at work and someone came by who was awestruck—neither he nor his friends had ever come close. That was soooo cool.) Went through a major Minesweeper phase—when I wanted to blitz out, I’d just get lost in it.

    Good times!

  18. 18
    Trai says:

    My favorite emotional love stories are Audrey Niffenegger’s The Time Traveler’s Wife, Wendy Markham’s If Only in my Dreams, and Tiffanie deBartolo’s God-Shaped Hole.

  19. 19
    Theresa says:

    Kimberly Anne – Just finished playing Dire Grove, actually.  It was good, but almost more creepy-spooky than my nerves can take!  Big Fish games, yes!  I’d let my credits accumulate, and purchased a bunch of games at the end of January.

    Everyone chiming in here about how much time they spend on games is making me feel a wee bit better about my addition.

  20. 20
    Galen says:

    No recommendations, but just to chime in on games. I spend waayy too much time on casual games (the aforementioned Facebook and such games as Plants and Zombies), where I just tell myself, 1 level more… and more… But I started gaming with Warcraft II, so that’s where my real gaming passion is, RPGs and strategies; but those suck up even more time, I’ve ever played for 24hrs straight on those before.

  21. 21

    Theresa—that’s interesting. My fiancee said exactly the same thing about Dire Grove. It was too creepy and depressing for her. What’s interesting is that she had no problems with Ravenhearst. Weird. Maybe it’s the cold, winter setting in DG…

  22. 22
    Gail W. says:

    I spend FAR too much time on games… I start playing freecell, zone out, and before I know it I’m late!

    I mostly play card games, but my little sister recently introduced me to “Circle the Cat”. It is far too addicting.

  23. 23
    Jody says:

    Thanks to this site, I bought Heartwild just before Christmas and have been hopelessly addicted ever since.  It’s crack, it is. 

    Of course, that was the first slip down the slope.  Just finished Dream Chronicles and Mortimer Beckett.  Both awesome games!

  24. 24
    Shelley says:

    At least an hour of Solitaire daily. It can go up to five or six when the Sims are involved, though. *g* Or those hidden object games. Love those, too.

  25. 25
    Heidi says:

    My recommendation for excellent reads are anything by Sherrilyn Kenyon. Her paranormal books are fascinating and the romance is always so amazing.

    As for games… I spend 3-4 hours in the evenings playing World of Warcraft. I’ve been playing for about 4 years.  I also play several different Final Fantasy games on my Playstation. I was into Guild Wars briefly, which is excellent and requires no subscription.

  26. 26
    Vicki says:

    I already have Heartwild on my mac so don’t need the free coupon. I do enjoy the game, though. It’s relaxing but engrossing. It’s the prefect thing to come back to between household tasks, kind of like reading a couple pages and putting the book down as you work.

    I am a big fan of HO games but do have some trouble with Ravenhurst. I know it is meant to be Gothic/romantic but I do find it a little creepy.

    captcha is going 84 which is when we bought our first computer and I learned to do a little Basic programming to rewrite a couple games to put on it…..

  27. 27
    Lisa Hendrix says:

    I immediately thought of Suzanne Macpherson’s books, which have a very B&W movie feel—although more screwball comedy than François Truffaut.

    For sheer depth of emotion, you’d be hard=pressed to do better than Kristin Hannah or Susan Wiggs.

    As for games: Have been doing very well without any on my computer for the last couple of years, but Heartwild just looks so lovely. I will not, however, load it until this WIP is done (in case my agent or editor are reading this !)

  28. 28
    Paula says:

    I’ve wanted to install and try out the Heartwild Solitaire, but it slipped my mind for weeks. I already spend so much time using my computer that I rarely play games. If only there were more hours in the day… When I play, it’s usually the pre-installed games like mahjong or card games. Easy access.

  29. 29
    joykenn says:

    I spend no time playing games on the computer unless I’m on vacation.  Since I’m at the computer at work ALL DAY I prefer to read or listen to audiobooks and knit when I’m at home.  On the weekends when I have time my husband and son are on the computer! Sigh!  I must say that I bought about 4 computer games at Christmas—mostly strategy, maze-type games, no shootumups.  THEN I played much too often. Sigh.

  30. 30
    Collette says:

    Well, can I say that I spent absolutely NO time on casual games UNTIL some evil woman wrote about the Heartwild Solitaire game???  And I downloaded it?  And I unlocked the stories?  And kept playing and playing and playing and playing?  And now I spend *cough*2 hours*cough* a day playing it? 

    (Besides blaming that devious dame, I blame the 2 year old—solitaire doesn’t suck my brain out of my head quite like he does and is thus oh so attractive.)

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