Microsoft Entertainment Pack (universe)

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The Microsoft Entertainment Pack logo.

The Microsoft Entertainment Pack is a series of compilation causal entertainment software packages initially published by Microsoft for the Windows 3 operating environment. Most of the games are either public domain card, board, or tile games, but there were a couple licensed games and unique games as well.

Microsoft began the project in 1990 as an attempt to make Windows 3 seem more appealing to home users. However, they had a very limited budget and inexperience team. No popular third-party developers signed onto the project, so the team just gathered the pet projects of internal Microsoft developers, which accounts for the general low-quality content of the programs. Some of the packs included a single licensed game.

The developers were paid for their programs, not with money, but with 10 shares of Microsoft stock. Microsoft released four collections over a three-year span, and the company must have either not have saw the sales they expected, or thought their job of attracting home users to the operating environment succeeded because they stopped marketing the brand after only a couple years. They released a "Best Of" compilation in 1994, and tried one last package in 1997, before giving up on it. In 2000-2001, they licensed out some of the games to be ported to the Game Boy Color, but only two packages were made.


My family's first home computer was a floor model which came with Microsoft Entertainment Pack For Windows, so I spent a lot of time playing those games. Other friends of mine had other packs, so, in my teen years, I played most of the games. Although none of the games are fantastic, I enjoy several of them. I appreciate the casual approach and wish Microsoft would have published more titles or, at the very least, updated them to better work with later versions of Windows.


Released Title Platform Programs
1990-??-?? Microsoft Entertainment Pack For Windows Windows 3

Cruel, Golf, IdleWild, Minesweeper, Pegged, Taipei, Tetris, TicTactics.

1991-??-?? Microsoft Entertainment Pack 2 Windows 3 FreeCell, IdleWild, JigSawed, Pipe Dream, Rattler Race, Rodent's Revenge, Stones, Tut's Tomb.
1991-??-?? Microsoft Entertainment Pack 3 Windows 3 Fuji Golf, IdleWild, Klotski, LifeGenesis, SkiFree, TetraVex, TriPeaks, WordZap.
1992-??-?? Microsoft Entertainment Pack 4 Windows 3 Chess, Go Figure!, Tic Tac Drop, Maxwell's Maniac, Dr. Black Jack, JezzBall, Chip's Challenge.
1994-??-?? The Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack Windows 3 Chip's Challenge, Dr. Black Jack, FreeCell, Golf, JezzBall, Pipe Dream, Rodent's Revenge, SkiFree, Taipei, TetraVex, Tetris, TriPeaks, Tut's Tomb
1997-??-?? Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection Windows Charmer, Color Collision, Finty Flush, Fringer, Jewel Chase, Lineup, Mixed Genetics, Muddled Casino, Rat Poker, Spring Weekend.
2000-10-24 Microsoft Puzzle Collection Entertainment Pack Game Boy Color Color Collision, Finty Flush, Jewel Chase, Lineup, Spring Weekend, Rat Poker.
2001-??-?? Microsoft: The Best of Entertainment Pack Game Boy Color FreeCell, LifeGenesis, Minesweeper, SkiFree, TicTactics, TriPeaks, Tut's Tomb.

The first pack didn't use a special logo, but packs 2-4 used the logo below which utilizes the typeface Helvetica Ultra Compressed. Each box colored the logo differently, but black was used the most. The logo was italicized for the "Best Of" pack and "The Puzzle Collection." The first Game Boy Color release used the same typeface, but the second uses a unique title.


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