Microsoft Windows Games
Note: Minesweeper is not included with Windows 8 out of the box. To install Minesweeper in Windows 8, access the Microsoft Store icon on the Windows Start Screen and search for "Minesweeper".
Windows Minesweeper is a software game that has been included with all versions of Microsoft Windows up through Windows 7. The picture to the right is an example of how Minesweeper looked in Windows XP and what Minesweeper looked like in early versions of Windows.
The object of the game is to locate each of the mines and safely mark the mines with a flag by clicking on the box you believe to be a bomb with your right mouse button. To help you with discovering where the bombs are located numbers are placed in squares next to where a bomb is located. For example, if a square has a number 2, it indicates that two bombs are found on one of the sides or corners of that square.
Once all bombs have been marked and all other squares have been cleared the player wins the game. If a bomb is selected and not marked it explodes and the player loses the game.
In the picture below is an example of the Minesweeper app running in Windows 8. In this picture you can get a better understanding of the numbers and where the bombs may be placed in a game.
Note: Solitaire is not included with Windows 8 out of the box. To install Solitaire in Windows 8, access the Microsoft Store icon on the Windows Start Screen and search for "Solitaire".
Windows Solitaire is just like the classic real-life card game. The object of the game is to go through a deck of cards and arrange the randomized cards in order and by suit, starting each suit with the Ace card and going all the way up to the King. The game starts with seven stacks of cards, with the first stack having one card, the second stack having two cards, and so on. Only the top card is showing in each stack. The remaining cards are placed in the top left corner of the screen in a single stack, facing down.
When arranging the cards in the seven stacks and using the cards in the top-left, the cards must be arranged in opposite color order. For example, a red six only work on a black seven. If the player has any card showing on the seven stacks that can be placed on another card, that card can be moved to another stack and the card under it can be turned over. If an Ace is found it can be placed in one of the top 4 blank spots to begin creating a stack of all the same suites.
If while playing one of the seven stacks is emptied a King and any of the cards below the king can be moved to the location of the empty stack. If no cards can be placed, one card is drawn from the top-left deck until a match can be found. If all cards are drawn from the top-left the cards are turned over and gone through again.
Finally, if no matches can be found after going through the top-left deck or in any of the seven stacks you lose the game. If you're able to complete all four stacks of cards in the same suites you win the game.
Tip: Double-clicking on a card will move it into its place without having to drag the card.
Tip: If you believe you can complete the game with the cards showing right-click to finish the game without having to drag and drop all of the remaining of the cards.
Note: FreeCell is not included with Windows 8 out of the box. To install FreeCell in Windows 8, access the Microsoft Store icon on the Windows Start Screen and search for "FreeCell".
Windows FreeCell is a card game that is similar to Solitaire where all cards are randomly placed into eight piles. The user must organize those piles by suit starting with the King card and going up to the Ace. To organize the piles you move one card to either another pile or one of the four available slots in the top left hand side of the window.
Note: 3D Pinball is not included with Windows 8 out of the box. To install 3D Pinball in Windows 8, access the Microsoft Store icon on the Windows Start Screen and search for "3D Pinball Space Cadet".
Windows 3D Pinball is a simple Pinball game included with Microsoft Windows 2000 and above. In this version of 3D Pinball the user can play the Space Cadet pinball table.
To play, press, hold, and let go the space bar on your keyboard to shoot the ball out into the table and use the 'z' key to control the left paddle and the '/' key to control the right paddle. If the ball get stuck you can press the 'x' key to bump the table to get the ball free.
Additional Windows XP Games
Microsoft Windows XP also includes Hearts, Internet Backgammon, Internet Checkers, Internet Hearts, Internet Reversi, Internet Spades and Spider Solitaire.
Note: To play any of the Internet Windows games, you must have an active Internet connection.
Additional Windows 7 Games
With the exception of 3D Pinball, Windows 7 also includes Chess Titans, Hearts, Internet Backgammon, Internet Checkers, Internet Spades, Mahjong Titans, Purple Place and Spider Solitaire.
To play any of the Internet Windows games, you must have an active Internet connection.
3D Pinball may not be included with Windows 7. However, you can download and install it manually. To do so, go to your favorite search engine webpage and search for "3d pinball space cadet Windows 7". You should get several search results that will provide you with instructions on how to download and install 3D Pinball for Windows 7.
Additional MSN (Microsoft) games can be downloaded for play on Windows 7 from the MSN Zone page. Some of these games are available for free.
Windows 8 Games
Out of the box, Windows 8 does not include any games. Minesweeper, Solitaire, FreeCell, and Pinball came with most previous versions of Windows. However, for Windows 8, these games must be downloaded and installed through the Microsoft Store, accessible from the Windows Start Screen. Other games are also available through the Microsoft Store.
Accessing the Microsoft Store and downloading these games requires an active Internet connection.
How to Run Windows Games
Note: Windows 8 does not include any games out of the box. See the How to Install Windows Games section on this page for installing Windows games in Windows 8.
Windows Games can be accessed via the Programs list in the Start Menu by following these steps.
- Open the Start Menu.
- Click All Programs.
- Click the Games folder.
- Click the game you want to run.
Alternatively, you can also run Windows games by searching for them in Windows. Follow these steps to search for a game.
- Open the Start Menu.
- In Windows Vista or later, type the name of the game in the Search box and press Enter. In Windows XP and prior, click Run and type the name of the game in the Run text field.
- If the game does not open or is not found, it may not be installed. See the How to Install Windows Games section below for instructions on how to install the game.
How To Install Windows Games
Note: The steps below will not work for installing games in Windows 8. To install games in Windows 8, access the Microsoft Store icon on the Windows Start Screen and search for the game you want to install.
- Open Control Panel.
- Click on the Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features icon, depending on your version of Windows.
- In the Add/Remove Programs or Program and Features window, click the Turn Windows features on or off option.
- In the Windows features window, all available Windows games found under the Games category. Checking the box next to the name of a game will install the game and unchecking the box will uninstall the game.