Review by Gauntlet Man 99

"A review a day keeps the doctor away..."

Introduction-
To explain the synopsis that reads “A review a day keeps the doctor away...”, I’m submitting a review each day, so that is what it means. So I decided to keep track of them instead. But now, let’s get on with the review. If you have a computer, you most definitely know what Minesweeper is; so I’m not really gonna go into that much detail here. Personally, Minesweeper is one of my favorite games. Maybe because of its surprising simplicity, great replay value, easy to play hard to master concept, and the amount of brainpower it requires to beat it on expert. But if you need your memory refreshed on what Minesweeper is, it’s that game with all of the gray squares that you click on, and then (a) number(s) or (a) blank space(s) appear in its place. The number that appears is the number of mines that are touching it. So if you uncover a, then there will be one mine touching it, including diagonally. No more and no less than one. Or if you get a four, there will be four mines touching it. And don’t worry, the highest it goes up to is five. The object is to uncover all of the mines. There are ten on beginner, 40 on intermediate, and 99 on expert. Sounds simple? Trust me--- it isn’t. Now lets move on to the graphics. (235 Word Mark)

Visual Appeal/Graphics- 7 out of 10
For a game that comes free on any computer, the graphics in Minesweeper are pretty good. And the fact that you don’t good graphics (you could use Atari’s graphics and it’d still be fun) helps out here. But computers are capable of much better quality. Even an Apple with only DOS could do better. But Minesweeper only has to display a bunch of gray squares, numbers, flags, question marks, and a smiley face :). So the graphics aren’t really that good, they just get the job done and do a little better, so they get a seven out of ten. And the colors in Minesweeper contribute to the seven too. Each of the five numbers that you can get are differently colored, the mines are cool looking, the smiley face is good, and basically, it just does good colors. (383 Word Mark)

Audio Quality/Sound- N/A
There is no sound available in Minesweeper, unless you count the clicking of your mouse. (405 Word Mark)

How Does It Handle?/Play Control- 10 out of 10
The controls for Minesweeper are as follows: You move your mouse to move the cursor around the board. Use the left click to click what you think is a safe spot with no mines. Right click once to place a flag where you think a mine is, and right click twice to put a question mark where a mine might be, but you’re no sure. Right click a question mark once to revert the square back to plain gray, then right click it again to make it flagged. And when you want to restart the game, just click the smiley face at the top of the Minesweeper board. (524 Word Mark)

How Hard Is It?/Challenge- 10 out of 10
Minesweeper is probably the second hardest game that computers come installed with. Solitaire is the hardest. Even on beginner mode, I have trouble beating it sometimes, and I’ve been playing Minesweeper for years. Intermediate I beat about 70% of the times I play it, and Expert I beat about 35% of the time. 99 mines to find are really hard. Now it’s example time: You just uncovered a four that’s touching a one, diagonally down to the left of it. Beneath the four there is a flag, above the one there is a two, and that’s all you know. Where would you put the other three flags for the four? You wouldn’t put them anywhere...yet. You would uncover the spaces surrounding the one to decide where to put it. Let’s say to the right of the one there is another two. Knowing that, you put the flags directly above the four, directly to the right of the four, and diagonally right of the four. Confusing and hard, huh? (703 Word Mark)

What Makes Minesweeper the Great Game It Is?/Game Design- 10 out of 10
The fact that Minesweeper is a great game combined with its utter simplicity should amaze most people. If it doesn’t either: A. You’ve never played it before. B. You’re an eight year old Pokefreak kid who is too young to understand it. Or C. You’re retarded and expecting way too much from a free game. Minesweeper is a game like none other. And unlike most new games, there aren’t a million and one games resembling this (coughPokemonandDigimoncough). And if someone were dumb enough to try to create a new Minesweeper clone, they’d fail. So, in Game design, Minesweeper gets a ten. (820 Word Mark)

How Long Will It Hold My Interest?/Replay Value- 9 out of 10
I’ve had Minesweeper for...oh...seven years I guess. And I’ve never once got sick o fit. Well, OK, maybe I have a few times, but I still play it as a good time killer. But if you’ve played it for hours on end, and you still can’t beat Expert, it’s either stop playing, or go insane. And there’s something I haven’t brought up in this review yet that adds a bit of replay value. It’s the Create a Level Mode. You can make your new level whatever size and shape you want. You can also edit the number of mines. And just so you know, you can’t place the mines where you want or else there would be no point to it. (956 Word Mark)

The Bottom Line/Overall- 9 out of 10
Overall, Minesweeper is a great game. Not only is it so simple a five year old can play it, but it can be so hard it could take you all your life and you’d never beat it once. It combines just enough luck with just enough skill to create the best game that comes pre installed on your computer. And, it has no ESRB Rating, but there is nothing morbid or wrong with it, so it’s fine. Now go load it up and beat 11 seconds on Intermediate Mode like me. (1057 Word Mark)

Summing It Up
Graphics- 7/10
Sound- N/A
Play Control- 10/10
Challenge- 10/10
Game Design- 10/10
Replay Value- 9/10
Overall- 9/10
(1081 Word Mark)


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/01/01, Updated 01/18/02


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