Please bear in mind whilst reading this walkthrough, Chinese Patience can be controlled with both the mouse and the keyboard. In the text I shall refer to "clicking" buttons, which implies use of the mouse. You can also activate the buttons using the tab key (or shift and the tab key) to move the focus ring between the buttons and then pressing the space bar to "click" it. When you are actually playing the game, you use a combination of the arrow keys and space bar; this is explained in further detail later when we get to the game.

Right, let''s get started. When you start Chinese Patience, you will see the splash screen:

Chinese Patience Splash Screen

After a few second, the Game Summary screen will appear. The first time you run Chinese Patience it will default to a three player game:

First Time Game Summary Screen

You can change this default by clicking the Setup button, which will take you to the Set Up screen:

Default Setup Screen

You can change the number of players, their names, and whether they are real people or you wish the computer to take their turns.

You can also set the level of difficulty, this only affects the way the computer plays.

Edited Setup Screen

Click the Save button to take you back to the Game Summary screen (or you can click Cancel if you''ve changed your mind).

We''ll come back to the Reset and Deck buttons shortly.

Game Summary Screen After Setup

The Game Summary screen has been updated with the changes you made. You will notice an asterisk next to the first player, this denotes that Paul will start play in the next game after the cards have been dealt.

Click the Play button to start the game.

Game Just Dealt

You will be taken to the Main Game screen and the cards will be dealt.

This is a good time for a quick tour of this screen:

You will notice in the top left a circle with a running man, this is the Escape button. Clicking on this will exit the game and take you back to the Game Summary screen, the current state of your game will be saved so you can resume later if you wish. You can also activate this button by pressing the esc key.

Over in the top right you will see a circle with a loudspeaker inside, this is the Mute button. Clicking on this will turn off the game sounds (and change the icon), clicking it again will turn them back on again. This only affects the sounds from the game, all other sounds will play as normal. Keyboard users can activate this button by pressing the M key.

Along the bottom of the screen we have the players'' piles. The left one for each player is their New pile, whilst their right hand one is their Discarded pile. The Discarded piles in the picture above are both empty.

Up the sides of the screen we have the Finished piles, cards of the same suit are placed on these starting with the Ace.

Across the top we have the Playing piles, more on these shortly.

Game Turned Over New Card

Full rules for the game appear on the How to Play Chinese Patience page, so I''m not going to duplicate it at this point. Rather, I will concentrate on how to actually control the game.

Move your mouse over a card and click the left mouse button and hold it down, the card will then follow the mouse pointer. Drag it to wherever you wish to place it and release the mouse button. The card will then position itself if it is a valid place to put it, or go back to where it came from.

For the face down card on the New piles, clicking the card will turn it over. You can then drag it as before. Once you have turned over a new card you must play it, you cannot turn it back over or move any other cards until you have.

If you prefer to use the keyboard, you can use the arrow keys and the space bar to control the game.

When you first press a key, a green highlight will appear around the top card on your New pile. Use the arrow keys to move the highlight to the card you wish to move then press the space bar. An additional red highlight will appear around the card to denote that it is selected. Then use the arrow keys to highlight where you want to move this card to and press the space bar again to move your selected card if it is a valid move.

Once you have selected a card you can unselect it by pressing the space bar a second time, the exception to this is the top card of your New pile, once you have selected it and turned it over you must play it.

When there is a stack of card on one of the Playing piles at the top of the screen, you can use the up and down arrows to highlight a card that isn''t at the top of the pile. If you then select that card and move it, it will move all the cards above it too.

You can switch between keyboard and mouse as you wish. When you use the mouse, the keyboard highlight will disappear, just press a key to bring it back.

When the game has been won, you will be returned to the Game Summary screen which will have been updated to reflect the scores:

Game Summary Screen After Game

You will note that the asterisk has now moved down to the second player which denotes that Stuart will start the next game.

If you now click the Setup button to take you back to the Setup Screen, you will see that the scores also appear in brackets after each players settings:

Setup Screen After Game

If you now press the Reset button, it will allow you to set the scores back to zero and set player 1 to start the next game:

Reset Scores Confirmation Screen

You can use the Back button if you''ve changed your mind and nothing will be lost. This is a good example of the Confirmation screens that pop up whenever you''re about to do something that you may regret, there is always a chance to change your mind.

Clicking the Reset button will clear the score and take you back to the Setup screen:

Setup Screen After Pressing Reset

If you then press the Deck button, it will allow you to change the images on the back of the deck of cards you are using:

Change Deck Screen

The currently selected card image is outlined, click on another to select that. There are more than five images to choose from, use the arrow buttons at the side to show some different ones. When you''re happy with your selection, click the Done button to save it and that card image will be used.

You can also move the outline using the arrow keys. Just hit enter when you''re done.

The Rules button on the Game Summary screen will briefly outline the rules for the game:

Rules Screen

A more detailed set of rules can be found on this website.

And finally, you can interrupt a game at any time whilst in play by either clicking the Escape button, pressing the esc key, or by closing the app. The next time you start a game, you will be asked if you want to continue with the interrupted game:

Resume Saved Game Screen

If you click the Resume button, you will continue where you left off. However, if you click the New Game button, your saved game will be lost and the cards will be dealt afresh.

Also note that if you click the Reset button on the Setup Screen to zero the scores, it will also delete any saved game so you won''t see the above screen.

Well, that''s about it for the walk-through of Chinese Patience, I hope you found it useful. All that''s left for me to do now:

Quit Confirmation Screen

... is to click the Quit button and I''m done.