Microsoft Minesweeper – Windows mobile
Yes I know, this isn’t the cutting edge of interactive entertainment but for most this little game is their first experience of anything beyond Monopoly.
So for those who have never played Minesweeper here is a quick recap; this is a one player game usually played on a rectangular grid composed of cells. Distributed across the grid are mines. The quantity of mines is displayed for the player but their locations are not.
By selecting individual cells on the board their status is revealed; if the cell is safe (the first go is guaranteed to be safe)then the game responds with a number indicating the number of mines that surround that square (including diagonals) and if there are no mines adjacent to the cell, in any of the 8 cardinal directions, then the games radiates out the selection until the safe zones is revealed with a boundary of either numbered or perimeter cells.If however you reveal a mine then it’s #BANG# and your game is over.
Therefore by using logical thinking (and on the rare occasion a bit of luck) the idea is to highlight the mines without setting any off.
The Windows mobile edition contains all the features you would expect with 3 levels of difficulty, leader boards, custom game settings and intriguingly Xbox Gamertagsupport.
The game plays adequately enough, however the distinction between the swipes and presses that the gameplay relies upon isn’t perfect leading to an unfair end to the proceedings. On countless occasions my long press to indicate a mine was considered a swipe or more frustratingly a light press thus causing a detonation. Therefore on the harder settings the real difficulty is from the increased ‘opportunity’ for accidental death due to the larger grid size than from making a mistake.
Another drawback of this edition is the banner advertisements that feature across the side of the screen. These actually encroach over the playing area leading to unexpected visits to third party websites. These sojourns to car dealerships and the like doesn’t cause any real harm since a press of the mobile’s back button gets you going again but could be a nuisance if you were going for a speed run. Although in actuality it is the controls themselves and the need to zoom in/out on the larger grids that are you biggest enemy if attempting this.
The Gamertag support is a nice way to bump up your Gamerscore and does add quickly to your total. A further feature on mobile devices is the use of medals; these are much the same as achievements and can be earned by achieving specific goals or by playing the game on one or more mobile devices.
Being a free download I’ll not be scoring this title. It is a competent enough edition of the game with the only drawbacks being the touch controls along with the screen size that limits the visible play area.