MS Minewsweeper

This has been out since before the release of Windows 8 but I neglected to review it because I have never been a very good Minesweeper player. I suppose I could improve if I played it more, even so just has never been a favorite. I should have tried it before as it has a mode I really enjoy.

MS Minesweeper - main screen

MS Minesweeper – main screen

The initial screen is designed very similar to the other free games, Mahjong and Solitaire. You have 3 levels of difficulty and a custom mode, adventure mode (more later) and daily challenges. There are currently only 2 themes, would like to see more but nice you change the view a little. As with all three of these free games, it has a few achievements you can earn to link with your gamertag on Xbox LIVE. Continuing on to the right you’ll get Medals, Daily challenge results, a leaderboard, statistics, quick links to help and an ad. I wish it adjusted to my screen resolution as there is a lot of open space at the bottom. If you look at the other two games linked earlier in this paragraph they were with older monitor and therefore do have less empty space.

MS Minesweeper - normal mode

MS Minesweeper – normal mode

The minesweeper you are all familiar with has been beefed up with fancier graphics and colors. The fundamentals are still the same to find all the bombs without setting them off, using flags to denote where you think a bomb is located and the numbers to help you determine which blocks are bombs. It works as expected and as you get an achievement you’ll get the notification pop up. Each level of difficulty is just a bigger grid. The custom mode though lets you choose not only the size of the grid (height and width up to 30×30) but number of bombs (from 10 to 64). More variety than ever possible here.

MS Minesweeper - daily challenge

MS Minesweeper – daily challenge

The daily challenges allow you to earn medals each month as you complete the 3 challenges that appear each day. The different modes provided are Classic, Flags, Detonation, Treasure Hunt and Squares. Pictured above is Detonation which is the opposite of the regular game, you need to find all the bombs with a limited number of moves to be wrong. Flags has you just mark the spot of a certain number of bombs. With Treasure Hunt you need to find the treasure surrounded by bombs (can hit certain number of bombs and still win). Squares you need to uncover a certain number of spaces without detonating a certain number of bombs. These challenges provide an ever-changing variety of gameplay and much welcome who might tire of the normal game.

MS Minesweeper - adventure mode

MS Minesweeper – adventure mode

Adventure Mode – this is the mode that really drew me to try out this game further. You are a character who bears a passing resemblance to Indiana Jones and you need to find your way to the exit locating gold and avoiding monsters and traps to get there. In these maps, not every block relates to a trap (not bombs here) so sometimes you can click without worry. You’ll find various tools like a pickaxe, arrows and dynamite to help you complete the level.  It requires you to figure out the location of the traps using the number clues and figuring the best way to get to the money (not all is visible at first, some shows up when you dig – click a box) and the exit. There are also shields to protect you and hearts to help you heal (if hit by a trap).

MS Minesweeper - finish level

MS Minesweeper – finish level

This mode fits me more and maybe you as well. I like the challenge, but feel it has more of a goal for me than just completing the grid. It showers you with congratulations and confetti when you complete a level as well. The biggest disappointment with the mode was that I died and had to start all over. I made it to level 4 and made too many mistakes and died, next time I ran the game, I was back on level 1 ! That sucks as I felt I accomplished so much and now just had to go and do it all over again. If you stop mid-game and close the game and start again you’ll be back on same level, but if you die you have to start over completely. I don’t like the idea of having to start from the beginning each time.

Charms

Search – nothing to search. Share – is only for telling everyone you are playing Minesweeper. Settings – has quick links to how to play, a few options as well. Turn on/off alerts, show timer on/off, volume and a few others for touch controls.

Snap

The classic game in the 3 difficulties plus custom mode can be played in the snapped view if you want. It is a bit squished, but works. You cannot play daily challenges or adventure mode in the column snapped view.

Tile

The tile is small by default but live tile attributes only show when the tile is the larger size.

Summary

The game is much improved visually over how it was over the past several years going basically unchanged. The core gameplay though hasn’t changed and even adds several other modes through the Daily Challenges and especially with the addition of the Adventure Mode. It still isn’t a game for me, but the Adventure Mode would have been dynamite if I didn’t have to start over after dying. A quality game can be had for free here for minesweeper addicts.

Rating

3panesrating

Category: Game > Puzzle

Download size:  112 MB

Age: (not listed)

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

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About

51-yr-old father of 3, work in telemarketing, like computers and technology

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Posted in Apps, Games, Windows 8, XBox Live

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