Microsoft releases gaming classics Solitaire, Mahjong and Minesweeper

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Arriving slightly late for Christmas but welcome nevertheless, some of the most popular Microsoft PC games of all time are now available for Windows Phone 8 (and Windows 8). The classic titles in the headline are now available as Xbox Live games, so you can earn achievements, compete with your friends, etc. Apparently, you can also play, pause, and resume  your games across Windows Phones, PCs, and tablets.

Here are the three titles, with links. Common to all is that you can log in with your Xbox account to earn achievements, compete with your friends, submit your scores to the leaderboards, and track your personal gameplay statistics. 

Microsoft Solitaire Collection

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From the description:

Solitaire remains the most-played computer game of all time, and for good reason. Simple rules and straightforward gameplay make it easy to pick up for anyone. Just focus on clearing out of the cards from the table, or try to increase your score to rival your friends. Solitaire has been part of Windows for more than 20 years, and The Microsoft Solitaire Collection makes it the best experience to date with five different card games in one:

This version is the timeless classic that many people just call "Solitaire". Try to clear all the cards from the table using traditional scoring or the popular Vegas scoring system.

Use four extra cells to move cards around as you try to clear all cards from the table. More strategic than the Klondike version, FreeCell rewards players who think several moves ahead.

Eight columns of cards await your attempts to clear them with the fewest moves possible. Start out playing with a single suit until you’re comfortable, and then see how you fare when using two or even all four suits in a game.

Select cards in a sequence, either up or down, to earn points. How many boards can you clear before you run out of deals?

Pair two cards that add up to 13 in order to clear them. Try to reach the top of the pyramid. See how high you score in this deceptively simple and highly addictive card game that continues to increase in popularity!

Microsoft Mahjong

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From the description:

Microsoft Mahjong is the classic matching game updated with beautiful imagery, intuitive controls, and all the features that fans of mahjong have come to expect.

Enjoy gorgeous graphics and relaxing sounds with three different themes to choose from. Complete multiple puzzles at three levels of difficulty—perfect for mahjong beginners and experts alike. With an improved Undo system, players have the option of rewinding to fix mistakes. 

Microsoft Minesweeper

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From the description:

Play the logic game you know and love, now with updated graphics and sound. Play with a touch of your finger to mark the locations of all the mines without uncovering any of them! Start with an Easy puzzle and work your way up to Expert.

Great to see these titles on Windows Phone. They're biggish downloads, tens of Megabytes, mind you, and some only work in landscape mode. In case you're wondering, the games are all free, thanks to small banner ads on each game screen. There's talk online about being able to buy a version without the ads - but I can't see this. Anyone able to point us in the right direction?

We'll doubtless have detailed reviews of each title in due course here on AAWP, once Ewan's got a few rounds under his Xbox belt....