Microsoft Entertainment Pack for Windows last edited by Nes on 06/29/20 09:41PM View full history

Overview

Microsoft Entertainment Pack for Windows (later re-released as Microsoft Entertainment Pack 1) is a casual game compilation developed and published by Microsoft for Windows PCs in 1990.

Intended to help make Microsoft's then-new Windows 3.0 operating system more appealing to the general public (as game publishers were sticking to DOS-based operating systems due to the perception that the Windows OS was no more than an enterprise tool), Microsoft Entertainment Pack includes seven new games (including a port of Elorg's Tetris) and a screensaver program (IdleWild, a precursor to their Windows screensaver system with eight included screensavers).

With the software's popularity, three additional volumes of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack Series were developed in 1991-1992, as well as a "best of" compilation in 1994 and a spiritual successor (dubbed "The Puzzle Collection") in 1997.

One game in this compilation, Minesweeper, is notable for being included in most releases of the Microsoft Windows operating system (replacing Reversi from Windows 3.0) from Windows 3.1 to Windows 7. Golf, Tetris, and Taipei were later included in the Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack compilation. Minesweeper and TicTactics were also ported to the Game Boy Color as part of the compilation's handheld port.

Games Included

  • Cruel (Ken Sykes) - A solitaire card game based on Preserverance solitaire, where a standard deck of 52 playing cards are split into 12 bottom stacks and four "suit stacks" (each of which has an Ace of one suit). Players must move all cards from the bottom stacks to their corresponding suit stacks in rank order.
  • Golf (Ken Sykes) - A solitaire card game where players have access to seven cascades of five cards each (all face-up) and must attempt to clear them by matching them in adjacent rank with the last card in the discard pile. The remaining cards in the deck can be also be discarded to change the last discarded card.
  • Minesweeper (Robert Donner and Curt Johnson) - A tile-based puzzle game where players must try to figure out, through deduction and logical thinking, where the locations of mines are in an unknown grid (without accidentally clicking one itself). Players must uncover all squares on the grid, with numbered tiles showing how many tiles around them (cardinal and diagonal) have a mine in them. Grid size and number of mines is customizable, and has three default options: Beginner (8 x 8 with 10 mines), Intermediate (16 x 16 with 40 mines), and Expert (30 x 16 with 100 mines).
  • Pegged (Mike Braylock) - A peg solitaire game where players must move pegs on a cross-shaped 7x7 board in order to leave one peg remaining. The game includes 7 configurations.
  • Taipei (Dave Norris) - A mahjong solitaire game where players try to clear patterns of mahjong tiles by removing groups of identical tiles that are exposed (where it can be moved without disturbing other tiles). The game includes 7 different patterns.
  • Tetris (Dave Edson) - A licensed port of the tile-matching game of the same name, Tetris has players moving shaped pieces (tetrominoes) that are descending into the playfield in order to create horizontal lines of tiles (at which that line disappears and all pieces descend).
  • TicTactics (Robert Donner) - A single-player tic-tac-toe game. Played in an isometric perspective, it also features two "3D" modes: 3x3x3 and 4x4x4.

IdleWild Modules

  • Blackness (Bradford Christian)
  • Dancing Lines (Bradford Christian)
  • Dropout (Tony Krueger)
  • Fireworks (Bradford Christian)
  • Shuffle (Tony Krueger)
  • Stars (Bradford Christian)
  • Wipe Out (Bradford Christian)
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