Do you recognize the mummy on the left?
That’s none other than Clippy, the animated paper clip from past versions of Microsoft Office. Now, let me acknowledge right off the bat that Clippy has a bit of a bad reputation. However, he redeems himself mightily as the main character in Ribbon Hero 2: Clippy’s Second Chance, a free game that helps you increase your skills in Excel (and also PowerPoint, Word, and OneNote).
The whole point of Ribbon Hero 2 is to discover new features by actually using them, while having a bit of fun at the same time. I don’t know about you, but I’m a big fan of mixing fun with work. It can’t all be about writing formulas and analyzing data, right?
When you play Ribbon Hero 2, you’ll board Clippy’s time machine and explore different periods and places, from Ancient Egypt through the hippie-dippie 1960s. In each time period, you complete challenges on a game board to move to the next level.
This is what my Ancient Egypt game board looks like:
If you click an image on the game board, a challenge will open in either Excel, Word, PowerPoint, or OneNote. For example, the challenge below is for Excel, and it involves turning a pie chart into a specific type of column chart, and then changing its style. Some challenges are relatively easy, but others are harder, especially if you don’t use a particular program all that often. Even if you are a frequent user, though, I can pretty much guarantee that you’ll discover something new.
When you install Ribbon Hero, a new group appears on the right side of the ribbon’s Home tab in Excel, Word, OneNote, and PowerPoint. To start playing, click the orange icon. You don’t have to complete all the challenges in one sitting. You can close the game and return to it whenever you want.
For more about Ribbon Hero 2, let Doug Thomas give you the official tour. If you have any feedback, good or bad, let us know and we’ll pass it along to the right people.
— Anneliese Wirth