Microsoft reintroduces Plus! for Windows Vista

Update: Amazon has since leaked a slightly different version of the Plus! pack for Windows Vista description. They estimate March 31, 2008.

This filled-to-bursting treasure chest of classic and new favorites is certain to delight, dazzle, and entertain your entire family for hours on end. The Bicycle Card Collection contains 12 classic cards games, from American traditions like Hearts, Crazy 8′s and Gin Rummy, to European favorites Schafkopf and Skat. The Puzzle Collection regroups 10 different games that were designed by Alexei Pajitnov the famous creator of Tetris -promising hours & hours of fun with those clever games that’ll strain your brain! GamePack even includes a trial version only of Pandora’s Box, an incredible reflection game from the devilish brain of Alexei Pajitnov and nominated as the Best Puzzle Game in 1999 at E3. Microsoft Plus GamePack is a must-have game collection for anyone who loves card games and puzzles!

Microsoft Windows Vista Plus Pack (PC)The first edition of Microsoft Plus! was codenamed frosting, like frosting on a cake. (Insert Portal cake joke). When Microsoft introduced Ultimate Extras for Windows Vista, everyone naturally assumed this was the replacement for Plus! delivered digitally instead of a retail product, but that might turn out to be false.

The eagle-eye enthusiasts at WinBeta (and also credit to the Neowin.net forums) have spotted an interesting product listed in Future Shop’s, a leading technology retailer in Canada, catalog. “Microsoft Windows Vista Plus Pack (PC)“.

Whilst the name could have been misleading, the packaging boxart is hard to disprove. Microsoft’s reviving the Plus! brand for Windows Vista, but limited only to games.

For your information, don’t look too much into the product description which is copy and pasted from the generic Windows Vista Home Premium marketing copy, noting the differences between Home Basic and Premium.

Whereas previous Plus! packs included a range of screensavers, themes, games and applications, this is only a set of four casual games developed Mumbo Jumbo as indicated on the boxart. One of the games I can easily identify is “Luxor” in the top left. The bottom right one might be “Ra”. The bottom left might be an adventure game, and top right a word/puzzle game.

These games, separately, have been available for retail for quite some time. One user who claims to have played two of these at the Windows Vista launch event in January 2007, unaware they were part of this pack, said they were “pretty cool” casual games.

According to Future Shop, these will retail on Friday, February 15, 2008 for $39.99. Cross our fingers, maybe these will even be Ultimate Extras.

Update: Rafael has contacted Mumbo Jumbo for an official comment, and he has their reply on his blog. Funny they should mention “infancy stage”, so I guess the product boxart just generated by itself huh.

37 insightful thoughts

  1. Wow, at $39.99 (USD, CAD or AUD) is a bargain, I’m sure there are no free flash equivalents.

    While past Plus! packs may have been worth it, if its just four casual games…seriously? Whats the price of an XBLA game?

  2. @Paul, they are WPF, and the games themselves are good time killers. The top right one wasn’t something I have played before. Being that I am a high school student, I have tons and tons of time to kill during class, so since I was in about 5th grade I scour the internet for flash games, and I can confidentially say that I haven’t seen the adventure game or word game in flash form. As for the top left game, it was used in some Windows Vista promotional videos and again, did not look like it had a flash equivalent.

    Besides, Flash sucks :)

  3. Wow. What a load of crap! Honestly you think they could at least put this on as a UE.

    And just having games makes it even worse.

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  5. It looks like there’s more than games in that box. Would this plus pack add Media Center functionality to non Premium vista installs? I’m feeling pretty screwed for paying extra for Ultimate.

    Details here – http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10097054&catid=10657&test%5Fcookie=1#MoreInfo

    FEATURES:
    By integrating search throughout the operating system, helps you quickly find and organize large collections of documents, pictures, movies, videos, and music.

    Includes Windows Tablet and Touch Technology that enables you to interact with your Tablet PC-compatible computer with a digital pen or your fingertip instead of having to use a keyboard.

    Includes all of the Windows Media Center capabilities for turning your PC into an all-in-one home entertainment centre enjoy music, photos, and DVD movies

  6. @Bob: Someone didn’t read what I wrote :P The product description is not for this product, it is a filler from the generic Windows Vista Home Premium marketing blurb.

  7. I find it odd how Microsoft kept the Plus! nomenclature given the fact this is merely a retail game bundle. I think it would’ve been more appropriate to label it Game Pack!. This is a sad day for me.

  8. Well, licensing 4 games and putting them in a box isn’t really a challenging job for Microsoft. I’m seriously asking myself what all the developers inside that software company have done in 2007?

  9. I can’t believe you aren’t banging the “Ultimate Extras” drum on this one; maybe because until it’s released in February, it’s still vaporware? If this doesn’t get included with UE, MS will take yet another hit for credibility in future releases…

  10. seems to me like the smallest ever plus pack. If anyone remembers/cares Windows Me’s plus pack was also small whereas XP got 2 big Plus packs later combined into a Plus! superpack. MS must outdo XP.

  11. I agree it should be called ‘Games Pack!’ or something along the lines to that. What an uninspiring piece of software news to come out of Redmond at the start of 2008.

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  13. It’s really sad that this is the best Microsoft can come up with for Plus! Pack. How about scouring the internet for all of the best of the best themes, wallpapers, screen savers, widgets.. err… gadgets, and games? I guess giving people their money’s worth is too much to ask for.

    What a scam!

  14. Also available thru Amazon.com beginning March 31, 2008:

    http://www.amazon.com/Mumbo-Jumbo-1037-10393-Microsoft-Plus/dp/B000XYUVDY/ref=sr_1_2

    The product description is somewhat different:

    Product Description
    This filled-to-bursting treasure chest of classic and new favorites is certain to delight, dazzle, and entertain your entire family for hours on end. The Bicycle Card Collection contains 12 classic cards games, from American traditions like Hearts, Crazy 8′s and Gin Rummy, to European favorites Schafkopf and Skat. The Puzzle Collection regroups 10 different games that were designed by Alexei Pajitnov the famous creator of Tetris -promising hours & hours of fun with those clever games that’ll strain your brain! GamePack even includes a trial version only of Pandora’s Box, an incredible reflection game from the devilish brain of Alexei Pajitnov and nominated as the Best Puzzle Game in 1999 at E3. Microsoft Plus GamePack is a must-have game collection for anyone who loves card games and puzzles!

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  16. The eagle-eye enthusiasts at WinBeta (and also credit to the Neowin.net forums) have spotted an interesting product listed in Future Shop’s, a leading technology retailer in Canada, catalog. “Microsoft Windows Vista Plus Pack (PC)“.

    Not true – if you go to their website, it says “no such product’.

  17. Wake Up Moses,

    You are commenting on a story that is well over a month old. Do you think Future Shop would leave the erroneous posting up there forever?

    It was there, I saw it myself – WHEN THIS STORY WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN.

    But as you, Mr Moses Genius, have since discovered, it is gone.

    Sorry – you snooze, you lose!

  18. “Are they bringing this out?”

    Does it matter? There’s nothing new in the supposed
    “Plus”. There’s nothing here that grabs peoples attention.
    Just a few basic games. I can find FREEWARE on the
    net that’s better than this. This is just more Microsoft hype
    over nothing – just like Ultimate Extras.

    Btw Microsoft, what ever happened to project MONACO huh?
    Not gonna happen? Didn’t think so. Gotta love vaporware.

  19. why now post a good game like Chip’s challenge. If anyone here can remember that, great game from windows 95, thats what i’d like to see some games like chip’s challenge, and pipe dream, and other crap for the windows vista.

  20. I wish they’d included the mouse cursors of Nature, Space, Da Vinci, and the Aquarium. They were very cool, and I really liked them. Is this ever going to be possible??

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