hello, I'm Zorine Te. I work hard to quietly deliver the best content in video games.

Because everybody wants to read an extensive, studious, in-depth all out review for a game.

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Minesweeper is by default offered to anybody who installs any Windows released after 1992. The version up for review is not the one offered in Windows Vista, but Windows XP. So you probably have it, or at least encountered it sometime in your life. Good.

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Appearance

For a game that is over ten years old Minesweeper still retains a polished appearance. Mines look simple and yet their design is effective in conveying their purpose in a small, approximately half centimeter square. The 3D effects employed in the stages imbue the game with a sense of depth; that the player really is shifting through these ambiguous blocks with caution.

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Colour schemes employed are pleasant on the eyes; the grey region really provides a uniform backdrop for the player to move through as well as providing a sharp juxtaposition to the bright colours of the numbers indicating danger.

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"The grey region really provides a uniform backdrop for the player to move through as well as providing a sharp juxtaposition to the bright colours of the numbers indicating danger..."

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The yellow-colored androgynous face at the top is never explained, leaving it to the imagination of the players as to what role it really plays. It can safely be assumed that so called yellow NPC encourages the player’s success – the face changes appropriately according to the situation the player is in, adding a touch of empathy.

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Interface is fairly simple and relies solely on using mouse buttons, minimising clutter.

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Sound

Honestly, most of the time I play with the sound off. The incessant ticking of the countdown clock is enough to make the most patient minesweeperer snap. However, when one does encounter a mine the sound makes for an explosive ending. When one finishes the game, one is rewarded with a chime. However, as goosebump-inducing as this chime is, it does not justify having to listen to the monotone, rage worthy ticking.

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The explosions that set off when encountering a mine really punish the player – but in the expected way (or good way, if you’re inordinately masochistic). Nervously clicking on the edge of your seat only to be blown away by the deep explosion sound is one of the most vivid minesweeper experiences I have had.

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Gameplay

Scores are based on how quickly a player can finish a level by clearing it accurately of all mines. The faster you clear a level, the better. Winning relies heavily on the player’s sense of logic, and some mathematics sure doesn’t hurt either. Replayability is generally quite high – even on expert mode, the longest a single round can last is ten minutes. I find myself going back to try and beat previous high scores, or even for just a quick round to unload for a bit in between writing, gaming, creating things etc.

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Also worth a mention is the ‘Custom Field’ feature, which allows players to create a field customized to their liking. This feature contains limits on the number of mines allowed to be placed though, so if you want to attempt an impossible danger field to test your constitution, I wouldn’t bother.

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Conclusion

This game is MINE-BLOWING. It’s perfect to play as I wait for a download to finish, or just before I’m hitting the sack (that’s the cool way of saying ‘I’m going to bed’, or so I’m told). I am thoroughly disappointed at this game’s lack of inclusion in many ‘top ten’ lists, and the lack of acknowledgement of how much cultural impact this title has had.

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Final Score

9/10

I deducted one point for the lack of editing options; hopefully a DLC pack will be released in the future.

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Happy April the 1st everyone!

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