Microsoft is adding a bunch of casual games to Microsoft Teams today, months after The Verge exclusively revealed the company’s plans. Favorites like Solitaire, Minesweeper, Wordament, and IceBreakers are all now part of Teams, allowing co-workers to play against each other during Teams meetings.
All four games are interactive and support multiple players and have been developed by Microsoft Casual Games — part of Xbox Game Studios. The games are available in a new Games for Work app in Microsoft Teams and range from supporting two players all the way up to 250.
Solitaire has a head-to-head competition mode for perhaps challenging your boss during those annoying quarterly reviews. Then there’s Minesweeper, which will skill co-workers in avoiding explosive situations. IceBreakers is a variation of This or That designed to spur conversation if your workplace forces you into those awkward virtual breakout rooms with colleagues you’ve never met. Finally, there’s Wordament, which supports up to 250 players and will no doubt be featured in a viral virtual holiday party sometime soon.
Microsoft cites a study by Brigham Young University that claims teams that play short video games together were “20 percent more productive than those who participated in more traditional team-building activities.”
The Games for Work app will only be available to enterprise customers of Microsoft Teams, but I’m personally waiting for Microsoft to integrate Xbox Cloud Gaming into Teams so I can up my productivity while playing Fortniteduring meetings.