When setting up a new Microsoft Surface laptop with Windows 11, users can now expect a delightful surprise – a retro game to help pass the time during the often tedious setup and updates process. The game, called “Surf,” has recently been added to the Windows 11 setup procedure, allowing users to ignore the installation screens and focus on achieving a high score instead. This exciting addition is reminiscent of the days when Windows included various games to entertain users, and it’s a welcome change for those who enjoy a bit of gaming nostalgia.

Surf is not an entirely new game – it has actually been available in the Edge browser since 2020. Simply type “edge://surf” into the address bar, and a charming game will appear, ready to whisk you away on a retro-style adventure. While playing Surf, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia, reminding me of classic games like Horace Goes Skiing and SkiFree. The animations in Surf are endearing, and the gameplay itself is surprisingly engaging. The game supports various input methods, including keyboard, mouse, touchscreens, and even gamepads. This versatility allows players to choose their preferred controls and dive into a world of endless scrolling and obstacle avoidance.

The inclusion of mini-games within software or loading screens is not a new concept. In the past, games like Galaxian were hidden within loading screens to entertain players while waiting for the main game to initialize. Namco, for instance, implemented this strategy when porting its Ridge Racer arcade game to the original PlayStation. The addition of Surf to the Windows 11 installation process is reminiscent of these hidden gems from the past. Although it is uncertain whether Surf will be included in every new Windows 11 installation, there is hope that Microsoft will introduce more entertaining features in future updates.

In previous versions of Windows, such as Windows 7, the operating system included a plethora of games to keep users entertained. These games provided a welcome distraction from work or served as enjoyable pastimes during breaks. However, with subsequent Windows releases, these built-in games have largely been removed. The incorporation of Surf into the Windows 11 setup procedure could be an indication that Microsoft is recognizing the value of including fun and entertaining elements in its software. Perhaps this delightful addition is just the beginning, and users can look forward to the return of beloved classics like Minesweeper.

It is unclear whether Surf will be available for all Windows 11 installations or limited to Microsoft’s own PCs. However, there is a possibility that Microsoft may introduce Surf retroactively through a general update, enabling users to enjoy the game during future OS reinstallation processes. Additionally, with the increasing popularity of gaming and the rise of casual gaming platforms, Microsoft might consider incorporating more games or interactive features into its operating system. This would not only provide entertainment but also enhance user satisfaction and enjoyment.

The discovery of Surf as a hidden game within the Windows 11 setup process is an exciting development for users. It brings a touch of nostalgia and provides a pleasant diversion during an otherwise mundane task. While Surf is reminiscent of classic games, its cute animations and compatibility with various input methods make it an enjoyable experience for players of all ages. Hopefully, this inclusion signals Microsoft’s recognition of the importance of incorporating fun elements into its software, and users can anticipate further gaming surprises in the future.


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