A long time ago, in the days of Windows 3.1, Microsoft released the Windows Entertainment Pack. This pack had games, notable of which were classic Minesweeper, Snake, and Solitaire. The pack was discontinued in 2003 though some games like Minesweeper and Solitaire were revamped for later versions of Windows and were part of the OS for quite a while. They’re no longer available on Windows 10 however, you can still download the Windows Entertainment Pack and play the games in it on Windows 10.
Windows Entertainment Pack
Download the Windows Entertainment Pack from Archive.org. It’s built for the 32-bit Windows architecture but we’ve tested it on 64-bit Windows 10 and the games all run flawlessly.
Games included in the Windows Entertainment Pack are;
It also includes two apps; calculator and MS Paint. When you run these apps, some might give you an error that the registry failed to update but you can go ahead and ignore it. The app will run anyway.
All apps are unsigned so you will run into the Windows Smart Screen which prevents unsigned apps from running. All you need to do to run the app is click ‘More info’ on the alert you see, and click ‘Run anyway’ after that.
You can download the entire pack or you can download individual games. Not all game EXEs are saved by their popular names. For example, Minesweeper is saved as winmine.exe. You can run the app to see which game it is, or you can Google it and you’ll probably be able to look up what the EXE of a game was called back in the day.
You cannot install these apps. They’re all portable and as such, they have a few limitations. For example Minesweeper will remember the custom grid size you give it but it’s not going to save scores or anything. The best/top scores are all set to 999 seconds and there’s no resetting it, or changing it.
There are better, modernized versions of these games available in the Microsoft Store but the real lure of these games is the nostalgia. They look like they belong on a Windows 98 system and Windows 98 was very well received back in its day. We were still using dial-up modems at the time and these games were often the only entertainment most people had on their computers. They’re not very challenging games but they’re still fun to play and Minesweeper and Solitaire still require effort to play and win.