7 Best Classic Gaming Alternatives Beyond Google and Microsoft

When it comes to gaming, the names Google and Microsoft often dominate the conversation, thanks to their widespread influence and extensive game libraries. However, the digital landscape is vast, offering numerous Google and Microsoft games alternatives that provide unique and engaging experiences. In this article, we delve into the world of these alternative gaming platforms and developers, exploring options that might not immediately spring to mind but are equally capable of delivering hours of entertainment and innovation.

This photo depicts an office employee playing a classic mobile game on his smartphone.
Image credit: iStock/Tero Vesalainen

1. Solitaire

Google and Microsoft games alternatives; This is a mobile screenshot of the game Solitaire Bliss.

Solitaire, in its essence, is more than just a card game; it’s a test of patience and strategy that has captivated players for generations. At its core, the objective of solitaire is to release and play into position certain cards to build up each foundation, in sequence and in suit, from the ace through the king. The game is typically played solo, offering a peaceful retreat into a world of cards. Only the top card of each column is face up; the rest are face down. 

The remaining cards form a draw pile. The challenge lies in moving cards between these columns to uncover the facedown cards while also building up each suit in order in the foundation piles. What’s particularly unique about Solitaire is its many variations. Beyond Klondike, there’s Spider Solitaire, FreeCell, Pyramid Solitaire, and Golf Solitaire as well, and you can give all of these a try at Solitaire Bliss.

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2. Hearts

Google and Microsoft games alternatives: This is a mobile screenshot of the game Hearts.

Hearts stands out as one of the most beloved Google and Microsoft games alternatives in the realm of mainstream gaming offerings. This classic card game, diverging from many modern games, doesn’t demand the latest in hardware or graphics. Instead, it provides a deep and engaging experience through its simple yet captivating gameplay.

The Hearts card game is typically played by four players with a standard deck of 52 cards, challenges players to score as few points as possible. Points are scored each time a player wins a trick containing heart-suited cards or the Queen of Spades. The game initiates with each player receiving 13 cards, and a strategic element is introduced in the ‘passing’ phase, where players select three cards to pass to another player, significantly impacting the game’s dynamics.

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3. Backgammon

Google and Microsoft games alternatives: This is a mobile screenshot of the game Backgammon.

The name of this game, Backgammon, might sound a bit peculiar to the uninitiated, but it holds a venerable status in the world of board games. Originating over 5,000 years ago, backgammon is a two-player game where the objective is to move all of one’s own checkers past those of one’s opponent and then off the board. The game is played on a board consisting of 24 narrow triangles called points. 

Each player starts with 15 checkers placed in a predetermined pattern on the board, and the movement of these checkers is determined by the roll of two dice. The beauty of backgammon lies in the delicate balance between strategy and chance. While the roll of the dice adds an element of luck, strategic thinking is crucial. Players must decide the best tactical moves to block their opponent, anticipate moves, and strategically bear off (remove) their checkers from the board. The game is a race, but one that requires careful planning and foresight.

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4. Bridge

Google and Microsoft games alternatives: This is a mobile screenshot of the game Bridge.

Bridge, aptly named, serves as a bridge between conventional card games and intricate strategies, offering unique alternatives to Google and Microsoft games. Played by four individuals forming two partnerships, Bridge comprises two main phases: bidding and playing. During the bidding phase, players compete to secure the number of tricks they believe their partnership can achieve, establishing the contract that shapes the players’ objectives.

The playing phase involves actual card play, where players aim to fulfill or break the contract set during the bidding. What makes the Bridge Game particularly fascinating is the element of partnership. Partners must work together, often communicating through the bids they make and the cards they play, all without directly stating their hand.

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5. Sudoku

Google and Microsoft games alternatives: This is a mobile screenshot of the game Sudoku.

Sudoku, a brain-teasing puzzle game, has captivated minds around the globe with its deceptively simple layout and challenging gameplay. Originating from Japan, the name Sudoku is often translated as’ single number’, which is a nod to the core rule of the game: each number must appear only once in each row, column, and region. 

The standard Sudoku puzzle presents a 9×9 grid, divided into nine 3×3 subgrids, or regions. Some cells in this grid are pre-filled with numbers, serving as clues for the player. The objective is to fill the empty cells with numbers from 1 to 9 in such a way that in every row, column, and region, each number appears only once. Sudoku puzzles come in various levels of difficulty, often determined by the number and placement of the initially provided numbers.

Pro Tip: Learn how to solve Sudoku quickly with expert tips and techniques. Boost your speed and enjoy the game more!

6. Euchre

This is a mobile screenshot of the game Euchre.

Euchre, a trick-taking card game, has a rich history and a loyal following, particularly in the United States, Canada, and other English-speaking countries. This game, typically played by four people divided into two teams, strikes a unique balance between simplicity and strategic depth, making it both accessible to beginners and continually engaging for experienced players. The game is played with a short deck, usually consisting of 24, 28, or 32 cards, where the objective is to win at least three of the five tricks in each hand. 

One of the defining features of playing Euchre as Google and Microsoft games alternatives is the use of a “trump” suit, which changes every round based on bidding. The trump suit cards outrank all other suits, adding a dynamic twist to the gameplay. Players then bid in turn on whether the suit of this card should be the trump suit. If no player accepts the card as the trump suit, there’s an option for a second round of bidding where players can nominate a different suit as trump.

7. UNO

This is a mobile screenshot of the game UNO.

If you are interested in one of the most universally beloved and accessible card games, look no further than UNO. This iconic game has cemented its place in the hearts of families and friends across the globe, known for its simple rules, fast-paced play, and the spirited interactions it often sparks among players. UNO is a shedding-type card game where players aim to get rid of all their cards while navigating a series of special action cards that can alter the course of the game. 

The game is played with a unique deck consisting of cards in four different colors (red, yellow, green, and blue), each numbered from 0 to 9, and special action cards like Skip, Reverse, Draw Two, Wild, and Wild Draw Four. In UNO, the game initiates with each player receiving a hand of cards, the rest forming a draw pile with its top card flipped to start the discard pile, and players proceed to match cards from their hand with the top discard pile card by color, number, or symbol, while special action cards like Skip and Wild introduce strategic twists and surprises. Once you’ve started playing UNO, there is no way back.


In exploring the realm of classic gaming alternatives beyond the big names of Google and Microsoft, we’ve uncovered a treasure trove of engaging, strategic, and timeless games. From the strategic depths of Solitaire and Bridge to the captivating simplicity of Hearts and UNO, these games offer diverse experiences fit for all kinds of players. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer looking for a nostalgic trip or a newcomer seeking simpler yet intriguing game options, these classic games stand as a testament to the rich and varied landscape of gaming. They remind us that sometimes, the most enduring entertainment can be found in the simplest of places.

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