It’s A Thrill I Can’t Shake

[Roses and Butterflies – Making April]

I think I’ll try to explain how to play Minesweeper today.

I know you can just google it, but I always thought it would be fun to try to explain something.

Minesweeper isn’t a game of luck (for most parts). It’s a game of simple logic and having a good eye.

It also relies heavily on you being able to count. Can you count? If you can’t count, then don’t try to play this game.

Alright, so what are the numbers and etc for?

Alright, I pretty much set up a custom made field that is very very very easily solved. (I’m using Windows 7, so it looks different.) You see how in the middle there’s a block of 1s surrounding an untouched block?

The numbers indicate how many mines are next to it. IMMEDIATELY next to it. As in top, bottom, left right, or diagonally.

So in this block of 1s, there is only 1 mine in the center.

But look at the bottom of the screen, there is a long block, and amongst the numbers there is a 2.

Now, you’d think that the mines would be…

Right? No. Look at the top cross, it has two 1s, immediately to its right and left.

Because those 1s already have a mine recorded next to it, it can’t have another mine in any of the other 8 directions (top, bottom, left, right, and diagonally etc). Therefore, the bottom cross which would be diagonally down from the 1s on other side of the top cross should NOT be a mine.

So what is it really?

The crosses are where the mines are, the blocks are the safe ones.

That’s a pretty basic and easy way of solving minesweeper. Once you get to bigger numbers, it’s a lot trickier.

That’s intermediate level, and I couldn’t be bothered doing any more.

But as you can see (hopefully) it’s just a matter of counting how many mines are already discovered for a certain number. If there is already 2 mines for a 2, then all the other spaces immediately adjacent to that 2 would be safe.

Start off with easy levels – or make your own custom easy levels – and you’ll get used to counting and looking out for mines.

To answer: no I have yet to finish an expert completely, my best streak ended at 17 mines to go.

Happy mine hunting!

Also, and this is just a funny thing: On Windows 7 there is an option to change it from mines to flowers. Hey, world peace starts with one small game, right?

Alex.

/edit.

P.S., while the concept is the same, the way to win in Minesweeper on MSN games is very different, because it is a turn-based game. So today when I thought I could beat Katherine, I was soundly defeated in the first round, and only managed to scrape by the 2nd round as the victor through sheer luck. I take my hat off to Katherine.

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