Windows comes with a small set of games that you can play whenever you're in the mood for a bit of fun. This article gives a brief overview of each game. For more specific instructions, click View Help on the game's Help menu.
The games that come with Windows are located in the Games folder, the central location for games on your computer.
Chess Titans brings the classic strategy game of chess to life with three-dimensional graphics and animation. Highlighted squares show where you can move your pieces. Choose a porcelain, marble, or wooden board, and rotate the board freely to the view you want.
Number of players: 1 or 2
Difficulty levels: 1 (beginner) to 10 (expert)
Typical playing time: 10 to 60 minutes
Chess Titans is not included in Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows Vista Starter.
Mahjong Titans is a solitaire game played with tiles. Remove matching pairs of tiles from the board; if you can remove all the tiles, you win! Choose from four different tile designs, six different tile layouts, and a variety of backgrounds. This game is different from the ancient game of mahjong, although it uses similar tiles.
Number of players: 1
Difficulty levels: Varies by tile layout
Typical playing time: 10 to 30 minutes
Mahjong Titans is not included in Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows Vista Starter.
In InkBall, your goal is to get bouncing balls into holes of the same color. Steer the balls by deflecting them with ink strokes that you draw with your mouse or tablet pen. Don't let any balls go into the wrong hole, or the game is over!
Difficulty levels: Beginner, novice, intermediate, advanced, expert
Typical playing time: One to ten minutes
InkBall is not included in Windows Vista Home Basic or Windows Vista Starter.
In Minesweeper, you must locate all of the mines concealed beneath a playing field of squares. Click a square to reveal what it contains. Some squares contain numbers that help you find nearby mines. But watch out—if you click a square with a mine, all the mines on the board explode and the game is over!
Difficulty levels: Beginner, intermediate, advanced
Purble Place is actually three games in one: Comfy Cakes, Purble Shop, and Purble Pairs. At the beginner level, these whimsical games are especially suitable for children, helping to teach skills in memory, pattern recognition, and reasoning. The higher difficulty levels will challenge players of all ages.
Comfy Cakes. This game puts you in Chef Purble's bakery, where you must complete an order for a batch of cakes. The bakery's customers are very particular, so you'll need to make the cakes exactly as ordered, with the right combination of shapes, batters, fillings, icings, and decorations. Work fast because the cakes will keep on coming!
Typical playing time: One to five minutes
Purble Shop. This game tests your powers of deduction. Your goal is to make your Purble's face match the mystery Purble behind the curtain. Choose hair, eyes, nose, and lips from the shelves, then learn how many—but not which—features you have right!
Purble Pairs. In this game, your goal is find all the matching pairs of pictures on the board before time runs out. Flip a tile over to reveal a picture, then try to find its match. Use a "sneak peek" token to get a glimpse of all of the tiles on the board.
Windows comes with four card games: Hearts, and three variants of solitaire (a family of single-player card games). For each game, you can choose from a variety of deck designs and backgrounds.
FreeCell is a variant of solitaire. To win, you must make four stacks of cards, one in each suit, in ascending order (ace to king). To build these stacks, you'll draw from seven columns of cards that you build in descending order, alternating red and black. Use the "free cells" to hold cards temporarily.
Difficulty levels: One level
Typical playing time: 10 to 20 minutes
Hearts is a card game that you play in rounds against three computer opponents. Avoid taking the undesirable cards—all hearts and the queen of spades—unless you're planning to shoot the moon! The player with the lowest score wins.
Number of players: 1 (against 3 computer opponents)
Solitaire is based on the most popular variant of solitaire, Klondike. To win, you must build four stacks of cards, one for each suit, in ascending order (ace to king). To build these stacks, you'll draw from seven columns of cards that you build in descending order, alternating red and black.
Typical playing time: 5 to 15 minutes
Spider Solitaire is a variant of solitaire that uses two decks' worth of cards (104 cards). The object is to remove all of the cards from the ten stacks at the top of the window in the fewest number of moves. Remove cards by making a complete stack in descending order (king to ace).
When you're ready for more entertainment, there are thousands of games available for Windows, either for purchase or for free. Categories include puzzle and word games, action games, adventure games, sports games, card games, simulation games, and strategy games.
To learn more about the games available for Windows, go to the Microsoft Windows Gaming website.