Ten original puzzle types, ranging from quick fixers to brain busters, are included in Microsoft Entertainment Pack: The Puzzle Collection. Put on your thinking cap for logic puzzles, roll up your sleeves and prepare for eye-hand coordination to handle the action challenges, and engage your brain to outwit the computer in strategic-based contests -- but don't overlook good old-fashioned luck!
Created by the Russian development group, Mir-Dialogue, the collection contains several puzzles designed or co-designed by Alexey Pajitnov who is known for his worldwide phenomenon Tetris. Of the ten puzzles, the concept for two are credited to Pajitnov while he and Vladimir Pokhilko collaborated on two others. A trial version of the game is available at the Microsoft Games website at www.microsoft.com/games/puzzle/.
The Pajitnov-Pokhilko designed games include Fringer, where you must inexorably fight time (ala Tetris) while untangling and untwisting knots from vertically strung ropes, and Charmer, in which you play various flutes causing snakes to rise up to a horizontal vine, thus causing colored pots to disappear from the screen.
In Color Collision, one of two by Alexey Pajitnov, you must control a color-coded moving cursor and hit matching colored circles and sticks to eliminate them and advance to newer levels. In Muddled Casino, the objective is to move target cards off the gambling table using strategy to manipulate them.
Other games include a mix-and-match challenge, Mixed Genetics, in which you must "breed" varied creatures with different traits to match a target creature, and a logic puzzle called Jewel Chase where you maneuver a thief through mazes, collecting valuable items and opening doors to tougher levels.
Finty Flush has overtones of Minefield as you race the clock and come to grips with spatial configurations, while Lineup also makes use of a multitude of shapes, in this case made up of varying types of sports balls that must be placed "just right" as in Tetris. The difference here is that you can't rotate the shapes.
The final two games include Spring Weekend, a game that challenges you to rotate rings of various objects to get the configuration to agree with a target display and Rat Poker in which you trap different colored rats and combine them to allow escape from their maze. All ten games provide pop-up windows to register and save high scores.