I have mentioned in the past that I am on the mailing list for a number of PR agencies who employ the shotgun approach, which means I get a pile of email about new games, expansions, albums, and what not. Most of it just gets deleted, though I am always amused when I see a post go up on Massively OP that is based off of a press release that I got as well.
Most of it gets deleted because most of it is of little interest to me.
But sometimes a press release comes along that makes you sit back and ponder, “How is this even a thing?” or “How could this come about?” or “No, really, you’re shitting me, right?”
And so it is with Churchill Solitaire.
According to the press release, the 83 year old former congressman and twice US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, working with with a company called Javelin in Alexandria, VA, the president of which is former Rumsfeld staffer Keith Urbahn (who, among other things, was, along with The Rock, one of the first people to leak the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed before the official announcement), with the cooperation of Churchill Heritage Ltd, which represents the Churchill family for the use of the late Prime Minister’s name and image in commercial projects, is releasing a solitaire game for Apple iOS devices. A special solitaire game that Churchill himself created that involves two decks of cards and some other complications.
If horse racing is the sport of kings, then the press release (available here) would have you believe that this variation of solitaire is the card game of diplomats, Rumsfeld having been taught the game by Andre de Staercke back when he was ambassador to NATO during the Nixon administration. Rummy is alleged to be the last remaining link between Churchill and today when it comes to this game, if the PR material is to be believed.
Of course, we have to get into the FAQ to find the price:
Q: How much does the game cost?
A. The game is available for free. The game comes with three trial deals with In-App Purchases (IAPs). Additional game packs of 25 deals can be purchased for $.99 each, or one upgrade to the premium version for $4.99 gives you access to 200 specific deals, as well as unlimited random deals. In random deal mode, there are so many combinations (1.03e166 or 1.03 with 166 zeroes behind it to be precise) that it’s likely any deal you play has never been played before and will never be played again. Hints and undos are also available for purchase.
A revenue plan only a former government staffer could love.
We’ve worked hard to replicate the game as Churchill would have played it – and believe the final version does justice to one of the greatest leaders in world history.
How Churchill would have played it… on a little glass and metal clipboard sized device, sitting on the couch while half listening to your spouse or some TV show, while is attempts to nickel and dime you. A legacy worth preserving. Available in the iOS store today.