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The games that we are all used to and love from Windows 7 and other versions of the OS have received a major upgrade in the new version of Windows. We have previously talked about the new Microsoft Minesweeper, which has one of the biggest changes of all, but the others have also been upgraded.
Microsoft Solitaire and the other card games, as well as Mahjong have gotten more than a new coat of paint. And today we will be taking a look at them. One game I’m sad to say has disappeared from the Microsoft Games collection is Chess, but there are many other chess apps that can take its place.
Microsoft Solitaire Collection
Previous versions of Windows had card games, such as Solitaire, Hearts and FreeCell, that have been updated over time and in Windows Vista and Windows 7 had arrived at their best versions, in both gameplay and graphics.
It would have seemed that they had nothing more to add in Windows 8, but Microsoft have surprised us with a totally revamped game, called Microsoft Solitaire Collection. This new game, apart from integration to Xbox Live and a totally new look, has encompassed Solitaire, Spider Solitaire and FreeCell, but it now contains two new game modes: Pyramid and TriPeaks.
As an added bonus for joining Xbox Live, you have Daily Challenges, Medals and Xbox Achievements and you can race against your friends to get the biggest score and the most Daily Challenge Badges. The game also shows the Leaderboard, where you can compare scores with the other players.
In the same “innovations” category falls the new feature that allows you to create your own card themes and backgrounds. This allows you to create a custom deck of cards and background with any image that you want, making the game unique.
In addition, you can quickly swap between games by right clicking the background and selecting from the top of the screen any other game in the collection. The stats are shown in the main screen of the app, this way you can see your progress on all games without the need to open each of them.
Download Microsoft Solitaire Collection
Mahjong was not forgotten in the new version of Windows. As with Solitaire and Minesweeper, it has also received integration with Xbox Live, which allows you to complete challenges and earn badges and compare scores via the Leaderboard.
There are 4 themes from which you can choose, but the option to create your own theme is not present. This is not a drawback, because it would have been a lot harder to create custom themes for all those different tiles.
When starting a new game, you have the option to choose between the different difficulty boards, which need to be unlocked. Apart from this, the game is pretty much the same, and users will be more than pleased to compete against each other in the hardest boards.
Download Microsoft Mahjong for Windows 8
The improvements that the Microsoft games have received only shows us that Microsoft is far from finished with the innovations, and because they are continuously reinventing the wheel, we can only guess what the future could bring.