For those who were lucky enough to grow up with a computer in the 90s or had a standard desk job around then, you may have come across a little game called Minesweeper. This enigmatic title almost seemed like a little gift for the Windows OS at the time. It's a game that doesn't give you a lot of information but you can figure it out pretty easily. It's a simple puzzle game set against a grid of gray tiles with limited UI feedback at the top. You can win just as easily as you can lose which just makes you want to win all the more.
Though Minesweeper could be considered an ancestor of the app game, it still has value as a challenge and a numbers puzzle. Even if you didn't grow up with it, all the tools you need to get into it are right there once you decide to play. It may not have all the graphical flash of modern-day puzzle games, but it takes a sharp mind to win and it will help sharpen your mind just to do it. At the very least, it'll help trick your mind into thinking that your math skills are improving.
How to Play
Minesweeper doesn't require a lot of input to play and succeed. The play area is a grid of tiles that is smaller than the actual game screen. The point of the game is to reveal all the empty and numbered tiles whilst avoiding the mines. To select a tile, just click on it with your cursor. If a number pops up, that number indicates how many mines are around the tile (either adjacent or diagonal). Numbers range from 1 to 4 and clicking on certain numbered tiles will reveal a whole empty section of the board. If you click on a mine, you lose and all the other mined tiles will be revealed.
At the top are your various indicators. The number on the far left indicates that there are 10 mines hidden around the field. The number on the far left indicates the timer which will start to count up the moment you click on a tile. The smiley face in the middle is the reset button that you can click whenever you want to start over. The face will also change expressions when you pick a tile, win, or lose.
Tips and Tricks
The grid doesn't give you much space to work with and 10 mines is more than enough to not risk random guesses. A solid strategy is to start from the corners and move toward the center as more sections are revealed. As bigger numbers appear, you have to be more cautious and vigilant.
- Developer: Arkadium
- Platforms: Web Browser (PC and mobile) and Android
- Languages: English
How do you play without guessing?
Unfortunately, there's not much strategy that you can apply at the start with a blank grid. The first tile you pick will always essentially be a guess, but corners are generally a good starting point.
Is this game for the brain?
According to certain studies, playing Minesweeper can help improve cognitive function. This affects areas of the brain related to memory, problem-solving, and reasoning.