LGR – Best of Windows Entertainment Pack – PC Game Review

October 5, 2019

[typing] …all over yourself. Are you ready? Alright, here it is. [Windows “tada” sound] [grunting] Oh… yeah… Aw, this is Microsoft Entertainment Pack. I just broke my own rule and I don’t care. This is one of those that, if you had a PC, or used a PC, with Windows 3.1 or Windows 95 especially, then you probably played these games or at least saw somebody playing them. Wasting time in the office or in school or on the toilet. Why were you watching somebody
on the toilet? I’m not gonna judge. But you saw these games, didn’t you? Yes, you did, because they were everywhere. Why were they everywhere? Because they were awesome. And because they were
commonly bundled with computers sold by all sorts of companies as an OEM software product to make it so that their PC had other stuff on it, other than boring crap. Now all of these games were actually sold
in previous Microsoft Entertainment Packs. There were four overall. But later, in 1995, the best of the games from
these four packs were collected into The Best of Microsoft Entertainment Pack, which is what we’ll be looking at here. Alright, so we’ve got the old Windows
3.11 Program Manager open here. We’re just gonna go ahead and
take a look at Best of Entertainment. And play and talk about each
game as they’re in order here, whatever kind of random order this is, starting with Dr. Black Jack. Now contrary to other games of blackjack that you might have seen on Windows back in the day, this is more of a tutor. That is, Dr. Black Jack will tell you how much you suck, what you’re doing wrong that causes you to suck, and how not to suck in hopes that you do not suck any longer. Now, of course you can ignore all of his… hints and tips, but you would be a FOOL, because that’s not the point of this.
The point of this is to learn. I gotta say, I don’t think this ever helped my blackjack game in real life. I lost a lot of Skittles and M&Ms
playing this back in the day. I’m like, man, I played Dr. Black Jack.
I should have been awesome at this game, but here I am losing all my candy. Next up, we’ve got Rodent’s Revenge, one of my absolute favorites from the pack. Now this is a game by Christopher Fraley. Actually kind of based on a previous
game for MS-DOS called Beast. And this is a puzzle game where
you take on the role of a mouse, where the whole goal of the game is to trap cats by pushing blocks around and avoiding obstacles and mouse traps and such. You’ve only got three lives, so you don’t want to get eaten because then your game is over. And then if the clock ticks down to whatever it ticks down to, then lots more cats spawn into the level In this day and age of the World Wide Web, that might be considered a good thing. However, in the case of this, it is not. You get points for completing a level,
of course, and for eating cheese. And I always loved turning the cats into cheese. It kinda creeps me out. And makes me hungry at the same time. I tried trapping my own cats between boxes to see if it would turn into cheese as a kid. And all I got was scratched. Thanks, Rodent’s Revenge. You confused me. And then we’ve got Chip’s Challenge. This is a top-down tile-based puzzle game, somewhat similar to games like Sokoban. And it was actually originally for the Atari Lynx portable game system,
converted to about a million others. But this is the one that most people remember. That is from the Entertainment Pack from Microsoft. You’ve got a 149 two-dimensional levels where you play Chip McCallahan, a… nerd who goes around and collects
computer chips and presses buttons and deals with water and other things. Locked doors and keys. Now this will definitely be a
game that I’m gonna come back to and do a full review of someday. Next up is FreeCell, which some people may know
because it was also bundled with essentially every version of Windows after 95. It’s a solitaire-based card game, although it’s very different from most solitaire games, especially the Klondike varieties, in that nearly all of the deal-outs can be solved. This actually used a 15-bit random number seed, including 32,000 possible games. Now some of them had, like,
over a million later on, but… No, this one had 32,000 with some
of them actually being unsolvable. In fact, I think there were eight
of them that were unsolvable. But chances are you wouldn’t
come across one of those, unless you’re just an extremely unlucky punk, and in that case, you’ve probably died by now because you’re so unlucky,
so that really, really sucks. I’m sorry that you’re dead. The object of the game is to, uh, clear all the cells of freedom. And wiiiiiin! It’s, it’s a heck of a lot more complex than that. My apologies. [nervous chuckle] If you really want to know more,
then I would suggest playing it because describing it is actually pretty frigging boring. Then next up, we have JezzBall, a game
that’s not quite as friggin’ boring to… talk about. This is one of those games that
has sort of a strange cult following. There’s still people that play this and clone it and make more versions of it to this day. In JezzBall, you’ve got a bunch of red and white balls, referred to here as atoms, which bounce around the play field, doing bouncy ball things the entire time. That’s all they do. It takes some ideas from the arcade game Qix. So, really what you do is use the left
and right mouse buttons and mouse to move around your cursor and make sure that the atoms, or balls, are in smaller and smaller places until at least 75% of the entire play area has been blocked off. Any percentage higher than that
and you get an extra bonus. So of course, it’s always extremely worthwhile
to try and get more and more of the level cut off every time and holy crap, I cannot describe how extremely satisfying it is to get that ball in one tiny, little block space. Now another game some people might be
thinking of when they see this is Maxwell’s Maniac. That’s an entirely different game based on
the whole Maxwell’s demon concept, so… Yeah, it’s only similar to JezzBall
on a very surface-y, superficial level. It’s, it’s not Maxwell’s Maniac. This is JezzBall, man.
It’s jezzy and bally. That is what you get. Next up, we have Golf. Another… game with cards. Has almost nothing to do with links. Although, the goal is to earn the
lowest number of points, like golf. Now, this game is also known as Patience for a really good reason. You need a lot of patience in order to actually get a decent score, because there is that element of randomness to it. There’s a lot more luck involved here. In fact, in Germany, apparently the game
used to be used as sort of a futuristic guide. Kind of like a, you know,
tells your fortune kind of thing ’cause of all the luck in there. If you have a… unlucky bad draw the first few times, your immediate future is probably gonna suck, and, pfft, you’re gonna lose this card game. I don’t know, it was probably more dire than that, but, uh, that’s what I gleaned
from that little anecdote. Next is Pipe Dream, another version of the game by Assembly Line, originally on the Amiga where it was called Pipe Mania. And then when Lucasfilm Games
brought it over, they called it Pipe Dream. Now this is a straight-up puzzle game with a little bit of a timing element in there as well. The whole goal of the game is to use a
bunch of randomly cued up pipe pieces to make a path of pipes to perhaps peruse Peter Piper’s
picked peck of pickled peppers. And to get all this green sewer goo from, or flooze. Yeah, you just want to complete
this pipeline in the time allotted before the flooze splooges all over the place, and then you get to the next level. As the game goes on, it doesn’t take
as long for the flooze to start flowing and it starts flowing quicker. Pretty fun little game. Very arcade-y kind of puzzle game. You know, it’s over, usually, before you
realize it’s begun, sometimes, later on. But that’s what makes the game extremely addicting. Every single time, you’re like,
“Yes, I know I can flooze a little better this time.” Next up is TetraVex, one of those games where you have to match edges in order to solve a puzzle in a grid. You got large grids and medium grids, and grids that are really kinda small. But hey, it’s not the size that counts,
it’s how you use it, right? All with a number of tiles that
need to be placed within it. And each of those has a number on the edge. The objective, of course,
is to place the tiles within the grid, as fast as possible, in such a way that the adjacent faces on each tile match up. Pretty simple.
There’s not much more to it than that. Except that when you solve
a puzzle, you get this little guy which is awesome. Yay! I like it. And next we have another card game called Tut’s Tomb, also known as Pyramid. The entire goal of the game is to
get all the cards from the pyramid to the foundation. What you do is remove pairs of cards that add up to the total of
the highest card in the deck from an arrangement of cards,
a pyramid of 28 cards. I just read that from Wikipedia,
and I do not give a crap. Because describing card games is like trying to describe the friggin’ apocalypse to an ant. I never feel like I’m getting the
gravity of the situation across, so I end up squishing it. I don’t know how that relates to it.
I, I really don’t know. Next game is Tetris. Pretty sure you’ve heard of this one,
the classic game by Russian Alexey Pajitnov. It’s a tile matching game that was programmed in the Soviet Union in 1984. Another one of those that I’ve gotta do
a full video on at some point or another. And this is just the millionth version of this game. It’s nothing really special here. It’s Tetris. Wow. What a friggin’ time sink. Next up is Taipei. A pretty simplistic solitaire mahjong game. Yeah, compared to games like Shanghai II, there’s really not much to this. It’s a simple game of tile matching, solitaire style. You match the tiles that… match. The ones that don’t can’t be matched. So there’s a good chance that
you’re not gonna be able to finish it. And there’s no way to actually shuffle your board once you’ve failed, so there’s a lot of really aggravating game overs that you feel like,
“Holy crap, I just did one wrong move.” But that’s just too bad. Because that’s Taipei and it doesn’t really like you. It works. It passes the time. But honestly, ehh… Next up is… yet another card game called TriPeaks, also known as Triple Peaks,
or Three Peaks, or TriTowers. And never, ever referred to as Quadruple Booty Action. You’ve got one deck and the
object here is to clear three peaks, the TriPeaks, made of cards. You start with 18 cards dealt face down to form three pyramids with overlapping tiers. And it’s kind of a gambling game. You can win virtual money to
spend on absolutely nothing. Which is just appropriate, since I’m
wasting my time on absolutely nothing. So, hey, may as well just waste it all, okay… It’s an intriguing enough game,
but you know, it’s yet another card game in the Best of Entertainment Pack. Honestly, they could have put all these
card games in just like a card game program just called Card Games, or something. That would’ve been just fine. But yet here we have multiple
card games that are essentially all based on the same solitaire engine, when most people are just
gonna play solitaire anyways, so… And then finally, last, but definitely not least, is SkiFree. An absolutely legendary game for totally understandable,
yet slightly confusing, reasons. The game could not be simpler. You ski downward [laughing] …and that’s it. You can take one of three different paths or just make your own path if you wanna go off all the way to the left and right. Or go up. Yeah, you can do that. You can do a slalom, you can do a freestyle, you can do a tree slalom course. Or you can just do the
SkiFree mode and do nothing. Jump around, set trees on fire, get annoyed at the moron snowboarders, run over dogs, and other such assorted greatness. You can control it with the numpad or the mouse, or both, if you really want to confuse yourself. And then honestly, the best part of the game is when you get past the end. Or, well, not really the end, but sort of the end. Where you’ll get a score and just keep on going. And see this guy. Oh, ho ho… That is still one of the most terrifying moments in any game ever. You can keep your freaky Amnesia stuff, man. There’s nothing like the Abominable
Snow Dude coming out and eating you. There’s some little tricks to
get away from him and stuff, but, yeah, no, no… That’s not paying respect. You let the monster eat you. Like a good little skier. And that… is Microsoft’s
Best of Entertainment Pack. Ah, man. That’s the most entertaining pack… ever. In fact, it’s probably the best. The best of the packs of entertainment. Something about these games, man. Never failed to bring a smile to my face. Probably because I wasted a… stupid amount of my childhood and high school and afternoon today and foreseeable future on these games. I just can’t help it. They’re darned addicting. And they’re simple. With just enough complexity to keep you playing. And since a lot of people got these games for free, I don’t see how you can friggin’
complain about any of it. These games… are awesome.

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