Microsoft Entertainment Pack

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Microsoft Entertainment Pack
Cover art for Pack 1
Designer(s)Robert Andrews
Platform(s)Microsoft Windows
Release1990 (Pack 1)
1991 (Pack 2)
1991 (Pack 3)
1992 (Pack 4)

Windows Entertainment Pack (WEP) is a collection of 16-bit casual computer games for Windows. There were four Entertainment Packs in the original series. Many of the games were later released in the Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack. These games were somewhat unusual for the time, in that they would not run under MS-DOS. All games being 16-bit run on modern 32-bit versions of Windows but not on 64-bit Windows. Support for all versions of Microsoft Entertainment Pack ended on January 31, 2003.

Minesweeper from pack 1 was later bundled with Windows 3.1, and FreeCell was included in Windows 95. WinChess and Taipei, both written by David Norris[1], received remakes in Windows Vista, called Chess Titans and Mahjong Titans, respectively. Mahjong Titans was replaced with Microsoft Mahjong in Windows 8. Microsoft Solitaire Collection also includes versions of Tut's Tomb (as Pyramid) and TriPeaks.

Origins and development[edit]

Microsoft Entertainment Pack was designed by the company's “Entry Business” team, whose job was to make Windows more appealing to homes and small businesses. Ex-Microsoft product manager Bruce Ryan said the company did this because it "was concerned that the operating system’s high hardware requirements meant that people would only see it as a tool for large enterprises".[2] The project had "almost no budget", and no major video game publishers got involved because they doubted Windows' legitimacy as a gaming platform; therefore Ryan compiled a series of games that Windows employees had been working on in their spare time.[3] According to Microsoft FreeCell developer Jim Horne, the packs were not copy protected so customers could distribute copies to friends, to encourage using Windows for games. As payment, each author received ten shares of Microsoft stock.[4]


Microsoft advertised Entertainment Packs for casual gaming on office computers. The boxes had slogans like "No more boring coffee breaks" and "Only a few minutes between meetings? Get in a quick game of Klotski". The marketing succeeded; Computer Gaming World in 1992 described the series as "the Gorillas of the Gaming Lite Jungle", with more than 500,000 copies sold.[5]

List of games[edit]

The original Microsoft Windows Entertainment Pack titles include:

Microsoft Entertainment Pack 1[edit]

Microsoft Entertainment Pack 2[edit]

Microsoft Entertainment Pack 3[edit]

Microsoft Entertainment Pack 4[edit]


For much of the early 1990s, the Gamesampler, a subset of the Entertainment Pack small enough to fit on a single high-density disk, was shipped as a free eleventh disk added to a ten-pack of Verbatim blank 3.5" microfloppy diskettes. Games on the sampler included Jezzball, Rodent's Revenge, Tetris, and Skifree. A "Best of" disk of several of the games was also available at times as a mail-in premium from Kellogg's cereals.

32-bit versions[edit]

In the copies of Windows NT 4.0 and Windows 2000 source code which leaked in 2004, there are 32-bit versions of Cruel, Golf, Pegged, Reversi, Snake (Rattler Race), Taipei and TicTactics.[6] However, FreeCell and Minesweeper have had official 32-bit versions bundled even with early versions of Windows NT. The original game developers of some of the games such as SkiFree,[7] TriPeaks,[8] and WordZap[9] now offer 32-bit versions. Third party developers have also created 32-bit freeware clones of Klotski,[10] TetraVex[11] Rodent's Revenge,[12] and Tetris.[13]

Port to the Game Boy Color[edit]

A multicart containing seven games was released for the Game Boy Color as The Best Of Entertainment Pack. Four of the games on the multi-cart were ported from Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack, while the remaining three were ported from other Microsoft Entertainment Pack compilations.


Digital Trends noted, "For many, the simple but enjoyable games found in the Entertainment Pack provided a first taste of early PC gaming and served as a gateway to more complex classics."[14] PC World described the pack as having "standout time-wasters".[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Included in Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack
  2. ^ a b c Bundled in some later versions of Windows


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Dear, Brian (2017). "27. Leaving the Nest". The Friendly Orange Glow. New York: Pantheon Books. pp. 502–503. ISBN 9781101871560.
  5. ^ "Welcome To Gaming Lite". Computer Gaming World. September 1992. p. 74. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  6. ^ "We Are Morons: a quick look at the Win2k source". Archived from the original on January 1, 2015. Retrieved January 6, 2012.[dead link]
  7. ^ Chris (February 10, 2010). "The most officialest SkiFree homepage". Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  8. ^ "TriPeaks Homepage". Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  9. ^ "Classic WordZap". Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  10. ^ "Klotski homepage". Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  11. ^ "Tetravex Game in Delphi". Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  12. ^ "Rodent's Revenge 2000". August 22, 2007. Archived from the original on August 22, 2007. Retrieved January 6, 2012.CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  13. ^ "CrystalOffice Games". Retrieved January 6, 2012.
  14. ^
  15. ^

External links[edit]