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FreeCell (Microsoft, Windows, 1991)

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Title Screen

FreeCell

Developer: Microsoft
Publisher: Microsoft
Platform: Windows
Released internationally: September 30, 1991


DebugIcon.png This game has debugging material.
Carts.png This game has revisional differences.


FreeCell is another all-time favorite among lazy workers. It managed to spawn quite a lot of clones seeking to improve upon the original.

Debug Menu

FreecellDebug.png

Unlike its sister game Solitaire, the debug menu is still accessible here. Press Ctrl + Shift + F10 to trigger a dialog box offering three options: Ignore, Retry, and Abort. Ignore just closes the message box, Retry causes you to lose when you make your next move, and Abort induces an instant win.

The menu was likely there to check whether the win/lose stuff works properly, as there doesn't seem a point in cheating in a game like this.

Special Games

The game lets you specify the seed for the RNG used to shuffle the cards. The game has a few trick seeds that result in special deals.

  • -1 - The unwinnable deal shown in the above screenshot.
  • -2 - Another unwinnable deal.
  • -3 - Rigged so that making a single move will lead to the game automatically winning itself. Not all versions have this seed.
  • -4 - Automatic win again. Again, not all versions have this seed.

Version Differences

Icon

The Windows XP verison got a new icon.

Windows Entertainment Pack, Win32s, Windows 9x/NT/2000/ME Windows XP
WEPFreecellIcon.png XPFreecellIcon.png

About Screen

The Windows Entertainment Pack version has its own About screen. The Win32s version uses the Windows About screen, as did the versions that came with Windows 95 and above.

Windows Entertainment Pack Win32s Windows XP
WEPFreecellAbout.png Win32sFreecellAbout.png XPFreecellAbout.PNG

Other Differences

The Windows XP version features a million deals, whereas earlier versions only had 32,000.

The Windows Entertainment Pack and Win32s versions lack the ability to undo the last move.

Game Modes

The Windows Entertainment Pack and Win32s versions have a hidden "Standard mode" and "Fast mode", activated by pressing CTRL+F1 and CTRL+F2, respectively. These appear to be absent in later versions.

Standard Fast
Win32sFreecellStandard.png Win32sFreecellFast.png