This review goes out to everyone who has ever been feeling particularly bored at work, suffering from that all-too-well-known workplace ennui. Whenever things are slow at the office, or your inbox is melancholy with sheer emptiness, that's when you head down to the classic Windows Start Menu in search of entertainment. In the Games menu, you are provided with a small array of options. There's the all-important Solitaire, but the boss is getting suspicious of all the splashes of green rectangles and Kingly faces upon everyone's workstation monitors, so that possibility is struck off the list. You COULD attempt Spider Solitaire, but only the most elite of the elite solitaire enthusiasts know what to do there. There's a game of 3D Pinball, but that would make so many space-age noises that you would get caught immediately. Hearts? Boring. But wait... there's something else... yes, that's it! Play a few rounds of Minesweeper!
...But what IS Minesweeper? It sounds dangerous. That sentiment would be true in real life, but because it's only a computer game, we can take a deep breath and dive in without fear. The goal of Minesweeper is very simple. You are given a field of squares and a certain number of mines to find. You'll need to try and place a flag on every square where you think a mine is located by right-clicking on that square. But how will you know where to place them? By left-clicking certain squares (as more of a slightly randomized process), you will uncover one of three things: 1) a blank square, which tells you that there are no mines adjacent to that square; 2) a square with a number on it, which informs you of how many mines are adjacent to that particular square; or, sadly, 3) a mine. You don't want to hit a mine, or else the game is over. Instead, you crave those numbers, which will help determine where your flags should go. If you click on a square that becomes blank, all of the blank squares in that area of the playing field (and some numbered squares connected to it) will automatically be uncovered, so the game can progress rather quickly. This is pretty much all you need to know about the game. It's simple, but it forces you to think! You'll also get the option of selecting a difficulty level, which will determine how large the playing field is and how many mines are in it. You can customize these values to your liking as well!
Besides the general concept, there isn't much else to say about the game. The graphics are dull and basic, and have barely changed since the game's inception into the computing world back in 1992, and there is no sound to speak of, except for the occasional cry of pain over inadvertently hitting a mine (but don't shout too loudly -- remember: you're at work!). Nevertheless, Minesweeper is decent fun in short bursts if you have a few minutes of free time to spare between overwhelming tasks. It's not great, but it's not terrible either. Frankly, it's just an average game. It has remained a staple to pretty much every Windows operating system, and I doubt Microsoft will be getting rid of this classic title anytime soon.
Minesweeper is a puzzle game in which the player is presented with a board filled with mines, without knowing what fields they occupy. When the player clicks on a field a number appears on it, indicating how many mines are located in the fields nearest to it. The player then clicks on other fields, trying to avoid mines. If the player makes a mistake, the mine will explode and the game is over. The game features three difficulty levels, distinguished by the size of the board - the bigger the board, the higher the difficulty level.
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