Minesweeper is a puzzle video game developed by Robert Donner and Curt Johnson and first published by Microsoft in their Microsoft Entertainment Pack For Windows for Windows 3 in 1990. The game's formula is based on various similar grid-based logic puzzles that have been in existence since the 1960s, probably the most influential was Relentless Logic, although Microsoft's Minesweeper appears to be the first of its kind to follow this specific style and layout, and is certainly the most well known.
Minesweeper was later bundled in Windows 3.1 and every subsequent version of Windows thereafter. The game was mostly unchanged from its original version until Windows Vista where it saw a media overhaul increasing the quality of its graphics and sound and converting the bitmap graphics to vectors rendered as bitmaps.
I first played Minesweeper on my family's Packard Bell 386SX in 1991. The PC was a showroom floor model and it came with demo software including the first Entertainment Pack. I ignored the game for awhile because I kept triggering mines, not yet knowing what the numbers meant. When my curiosity was finally piqued, I read the help document and finally understood the game. I beat the beginner and intermediate difficulties fairly easily, but never had the patience to beat the expert level. I did have fun for a short while playing with the custom dialog and making a huge level with the minimum amount of mines (this actually helped me understand how the game worked). I have since figured out the logic behind the game better and can beat expert mode. However, that has caused me to lose interest in the game since the harder levels usually result in a handful of probability guesses.
I own several versions of Windows, so I also own several versions of the game. I have beaten all difficulty levels.
- Overall: 3/10
- Best Version: Windows XP
— This section contains spoilers! —
- It's a pretty competent logic puzzle game.
- The smiley face, which looks spooked when you click and dies when you hit a mine, is a nice addition.
- The Vista upgrade added a much needed graphical and audio boost the the game.
- The initial release is lacking in media. There aren't any sounds or music, and only the most primitive animation.
- No versions of the game try to eliminate the need for guessing. You will eventually encounter a setup where pure logic can't help you, and you will be forced to guess on a square. This is more common in expert difficulty.
- Sadly, the Vista revamp eliminates the cute smiley face.
- Once you figure out how the game functions and beat all the difficulty levels, it quickly loses it appeal. Even if you've never played the game before, but have a logical mind, you can beat each difficulty level in a matter of minutes.