Microsoft Entertainment Pack
I have finally returned and I apologize for such a long absence. I am still working on settling into the new place but I at least have internet again and I am temporary set up so I can return to make posts and unedited videos. For celebration of moving and packing/unpacking I decided to play and write about a multi-game in one cart. Unlike many multi-game carts this one doesn’t have a generic number name such as 4-in-1 Funpack, but still has a generic name: Microsoft’s The Best of Entertainment Pack [for Game Boy Color] or simply Microsoft’s Entertainment Pack.
This cart came out for the Game Boy Color in 2001 and is packed with seven different games of which four games come from the Microsoft’s The Best Entertainment Pack for the PC from 1995, with the remaining three games coming from other Microsoft PC Entertainment Packs. Making this cart a port, with the games all being ports of older PC games.
That being said many of these games are games that many PC players will have seen or even played themselves. The first thing you notice once turning the game on is a series of logo cards, before the main menu and a repetitive yet slightly catchy theme plays. It is by no means good, but it is also not the most annoying tune every played in game, it is also not a 5 second loop, it lasts a little longer than that.
Right of the back I will of course talk about each one though I already know three of these games are card based games all of the Solitaire ilk so let’s quickly go through them. Solitaire as it is known throughout the US and Canada is a card game with the purpose of sorting the cards out in a layout of some kind. It is also known as Patience in Europe and potentially else where.
The Solitaire games: FreeCell, Tut’s Tomb and TriPeaks.
FreeCell: FreeCell is much like Solitaire as most know it however, there are no hidden cards (all Cards are dealt face up), and there is no luck after the initial shuffle. Your goal is to stack all the cards in order from Ace going through the game as a logic puzzle. You play red cards on top of black cards and vice versa. The top left four cells are free cells for you to place 4 cards, with the right four cells being the place you put the four stacks of completed sorted cards.
Tut’s Tomb: Is another single player card game with the cards being set up in a pyramid shape, the object s to score by adding up cards to equal 13. Kings may be removed individually in keeping with the Egyptian theme. Unlike FreeCell however there is a time counter, and there are only 28 cards shown on the pyramid with the remainder face down in 3 stacks. As the time counts up you lose points.
TriPeaks: With TriPeaks there are well three peaks that you must take cards from to clear the peaks earning money. You can only remove cards from the three peaks only if they are one card lower or higher than the face up card. Every time you take from the deck or start a new deal you lose money that you will need to then regain.
With the Solitaire based games out of the way let’s play something that we all know about (for the most part) the ever loveable logic Puzzle game: Minesweeper.
Minesweeper originally was a game conceived in the 1960’s with the player presented a grid of indistinguishable plots and random number of mines. The player must guess as the pick areas. You have three tools a foot and a mine detector, and either flags or a question mark. When you use your foot three things may happen: nothing, your detector will tell you how many mines there are in the surrounding 8 plots, or you will hit a mine and explode (dying). If you think you found a mine but aren’t sure place a question mark and once you are sure change it to a flag.
Your only problem with sweeping for mines is that you can never be too sure and one hit mine is game over. This game is equal parts using your brain and luck. The number of mines per level is indicated in the upper left you will remove these by placing down flags but you could be wrong if you are just rushing. However, there is a timer.
Minesweeper is still enjoyable today as a puzzle game despite how simple it is. This however one of the three games not from the best of pack.
Another one not from the best of pack is TicTactics:
TicTactics is a port of a port from the Intellivision/Colecovision/Atari era of gaming. This game starts with a 3x3x3 grid in which you can win tic-tac-toe on anyone of the planes. You can go a step further and play on a 4x4x4 grid or revert to a normal 3×3 single grid. The only good thing about this game is that you are playing versus a computer so you don’t need to wait for a sibling/cousin/friend or even parent while in a trip.
LifeGenesis: Life Genesis is the last of the three games that aren’t from the best of pack and is more abstract than fun, it is essentially a life simulation using mathematical equation which itself is more an abstract than based on any real model of life. You can edit and place cells Blue or red down or you can let it run by itself.
It is interesting to watch but a game it really isn’t. You’re suppose to be just in control of the blue life and the computer is suppose to control the red life and you are suppose to try and eradicate the red while growing blue cells but I haven’t gotten it to work even after tinkering with it for 15 minutes.
There is still one game left to talk about before I end this fun and celebratory return to posting, and that game is SkiFree.
SkiFree: Is a skiing game in the simplest of terms in which you attempt ski down a mountain in three “different” game modes. There’s Free Style, Slalom and Tree Slalom. In Tree/Slalom your objective is to get to the bottom of the hill passing the flags correctly to get points. In Free Style your just trying to get points and have no distance/time or flags to get. You get points by scaring the dog, making the other skier or snowboarder crash, as well as points for jumping over anything of which you can jump over everything including trees.
Once your main objective is completed whether you did good or not the game doesn’t just end abruptly but rather a Yeti shows up and tries to eat you as you Ski Free. Honestly that is when the game gets fun as you try and avoid the yeti.
This entire compilation isn’t as up to quality you would expect of Microsoft, but it’s certainly not like the other multi-games in one. Both Minesweeper and SkiFree make this game cart actually enjoyable for a trip or move. If you’re into Solitaire games well this game gives you three different takes on the card game. Though I can not say that this game cart multi-game or not is worth what they charged when it was initially released for several reasons. The graphics are not impressive and are very basic which is very reminiscent of the PC when these games where initially released (or new currently @ $49.95). The sound for this game is okay but after playing it for even 10 minutes it will become tiresome and annoying.
Again there are worse options out there, and if you’re a PC gamer then you will find nostalgia from this but unless you can get it for a few bucks at a Garage or Flea Market it isn’t recommended. You will much like many multi-game carts play through this and be board within 40 or less minutes.
Anyways I’m B.T. and on be half of the ONS Gaming; thank you for visiting this site!
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