Microsoft has recently released the Microsoft Plus GamePack as itís latest collection of card games. Donít let the name trick you Ėthere arenít themes, etc. as there was in Microsoft plus in the past. In fact this new card game pack is more likely designed to be a game enhancement for your Windows OS. Many of you like playing Solitaire, Freecell or even the Spider Solitaire and have a lot of fun with these games. If that's your case you'll surely love the 12 classic cards games & 10 puzzles offered by Microsoft Plus GamePack. At Home or at the Office, this game pack will bring a fun touch to your PC.
Installing the Microsoft Plus GamePack is pleasant: you're guided through a nice colored setup interface and you'll have to choose the install method. Indeed you may choose a full install to be able to play without having to insert the CD (this method is convenient though it takes a lot of space [up to 519Mb]) or if your hard disk space is precious you may choose the small install that'll request the CD when you play. Note that you may also choose to install or not the Pandora's Box demonstration. At the end of the setup you're prompted to register your software on the Internet.
Bicycle Card Collection
The Bicycle Card Collection contains 12 classic cards games that are: Hearts, Spades, Cribbage, Pinochle, Crazy 8's, Oh Hell!, Go Fish, Old Maid, Euchre, Gin Rummy, and European favorites Schafkopf and Skat. When you first start the Bicycle Card Collection you'll have to define your character (between a variety of twelve 3D rendered people), name the character and choose the game you want to play. You can play against the computer that'll simulate your opponents or you can choose to play online with real opponents, which can be really entertaining. Each game you choose runs in full screen mode like a real game and presents the rules when you start so you can quickly play a round even if you didn't previously know the rules. The funniest thing in this game is that not only your opponents are in full 3D and move naturally but they also speak letting you know what they'll do, which color of card they choose, etc. During the game good quality music creates a fun and relaxed atmosphere. The Bicycle Card collection lets you choose the back style of cards between 12 different ones as well as the game carpet style between 6 different styles. With three different game levels you can make progress to your rhythm. If there was only one game I would choose from this software itíd surely be the Crazy 8's game: itís funny, fast, easy to play & understand and best of all youíve got good chances to win. So Iíd recommend it to anybody.
Microsoft Plus GamePack also includes the full version of the old Microsoft Puzzle Collection. The Puzzle Collection regroups 10 different games that have a common point: they all require you to think fast and intelligently in order to win. The thing you'll like is that these games were designed by Alexei Pajitnov the famous creator of Tetris -promising hours & hours of fun with those clever games thatíll strain your brain (however be careful to donít pull out your hair if you lose). Iíve owned the original puzzle collection since 1997 and havenít stopped playing since. Here are some game descriptions:
Fringer: Untangle knots in a mad scramble against time. Fall behind and you'll be at the end of your rope. Stay ahead and be tied up for hours.
:Jewellers: pass your way! Logic is the key to this gem. Plan your moves carefully in this unique twist of cat and mouse and treasures are yours for the taking. This game really requires a clever plan from the map so you can win. Iíve reached the level 109 and there are still levels afterÖ This small game is really absorbing.
Finty Flush :
:Fill the grids with the correct combination of marbles. The clock is your adversary, but logic rules. Lose your cool and it's gridlock.
Color Collision :
:Dodge obstacles at breakneck speeds in pursuit of the color target. Think you've got it mastered? Try the next level and you'll be seeing red.
Mixed Genetics: Cure bizarre, mutant animals by mixing and matching common traits. Use your analytical skills and fast thinking to create genetic order out of chaos.
:Dancing snakes are too entranced to see their doom. Stay alert to save them before the last pot is sealedóand they're hisssssstory.
Rat Poker :
:Quickly trap rats and combine them into winning poker hands. Anticipate the next move or get lost in the rat race.
Spring Weekend :
:Use shrewd decision-making to match garden patterns in as few moves as possible. You'll need more than a green thumb to conquer this one!
Lineup: Take a time-out with this new ball game. Sharp eyes and sound thinking will give you command of the playing field.
Muddled Casino :
:Deductive reasoning and endless strategizing are required to win the jackpot. WARNING: There's no bluffing in this casino!
All this games run in windowed mode and feature 2D graphics. The 2D graphics are nice but the music soundtrack can be a bit tiresome. Each game comes with a built-in help so you know what to do in order to play. The funny thing is that I really enjoy 3D action games like MechWarrior but I also like these simple but smart games and can spend as much hours to play with it than playing with the latest Age Of Kings.
Microsoft Pandoraís Box Trial
Here is my deepest regret about this new set of games:
the Plus GamePack includes a trial version only of Pandoraís Box and not a full
one. Pandoraís Box is probably the finest and ultimate reflection game right
going from the devilish brain of
They all provide a more
relaxing subconscious, and a enjoyable challenge that can be more fun than
cerebral word or logic puzzles. Thankfully before you begin each kind of puzzle
is clearly explained so youíll be able to play almost instantly. Puzzles are
most of the times made up with well-known Photos or pictures from the city
youíre in. If youíre in
Note that the demo version of Pandora's Box included in the Microsoft Plus
GamePack contains only 8 puzzles from the full version.
Note that the demo version of Pandora's Box included in the Microsoft Plus GamePack contains only 8 puzzles from the full version.
Microsoft Plus GamePack is a must-have game collection for those of you that like card games and puzzles. From child to grandma everybody in the family will find interest in playing to the various games offered in the pack. We regret that this Plus GamePack comes only with a demonstration version of the excellent Pandora's Box as we'd prefer Microsoft to bundle a full unlimited version. But this trial version will have an advantage: itíll show you how Pandoraís Box is great and youíll want to buy it right if you havenít already got it. In conclusion this Plus GamePack is a perfect and affordable gift to offer for Christmas to almost every computer user (except maybe to Quake fans).
There are however more fun games that you can play on your PC. Online casino games are very popular at the moment and they are available as both free games and cash games Ė go with the one are most comfortable with. Finding the best casino game is easily done via a casino guide. This could work as a good complement to the Plus GamePack.