Guest Author - Lisa Shea
One of the free games that came with my HP / Windows 7 system was Mah Jong Medley. This game provides four different styles of tile fun, with a variety of layouts and tile sets as well.
The term "Mah Jong", when used for computer games, generally means a solitare game played just by one player. All of these games in the Mah Jong Medley are one person games. You have a variety of tile sets you can choose - from classic to a more new age feel. The music is "light Chinese background" - you can of course turn it off and substitute your iTunes playlist running in the other window instead! I happen to like their music and found it soothing.
The classic game is the game you find on most PCs. There's a layout of tiles, you remove them two at a time with matching pairs, and try to take them all off the board. There are a number of layout options here to keep you entertained.
The "Ten" game has you doing the same task - but instead of matching by pairs, now you remove them where the two tiles add up to the number 10. The suits don't matter. I found this to be a fun twist!
Addiction is an interesting game similar to the card game solitaire. Your aim is to make rows of tiles from 1-9 across the tile holders. It's fairly challenging, and fun.
Freecell is similar to the classic game, but there are two holding cells in the top corner. That way if you get into a completely stuck position - like one four is on top of the other four - you can free up the top tile and tuck it away. It can be a life saver in some layouts!
The graphics are reasonably good, and of course it is FREE which I like! You do have to sit through a short ad while the game loads but then it plays for as long as you want after that. I don't mind the ad at all, heck it gives me time to get some more tea.
I do wish they had even more tile options - I'm a sucker for wanting to customize things - and background choices would be nice too. Still, for a relaxing way to release some stress and sharpen those little grey cells, I definitely recommend this.
Again, this came with my HP machine, running Windows 7. I *think* you can also download them at GameHouse.com - it's hard for me to know since I have this on my system already. If someone who isn't on a HP wants to give that a shot and let me know, I'll update this review!