Minesweeper is a popular game which requires logic and problem-solving skills to solve in the beginner level, and fast reflexes and pattern recognition in the intermediate and advanced levels. In this article we explore the origins of this classic computer game.
Minesweeper finds it’s origins in a game published in 1985 called “Relentless Logic”. Relentless Logic or “RLogic” as it was known was created by “Hong, Smith, and Conway” and eventually found it’s way to an online PC user group and began to become very popular among the users there. A lot of the game mechanics used were very similar to the Minesweeper that millions know and love today.
In 1987 an updated version of Relentless Logic was released by Tom Anderson. ‘XMines’ added some familiar concepts found in Minesweeper such as using a mouse, planting flags, and numbered cells to display how many mines are around the player’s position. Subsequent variations on relentless logic and Xmines were released by other programmers from 1987 until 1985, though they never captured the popularity of the original two games.
In 1990 Microsoft published the Windows Entertainment Pack designed to showcase their new Windows operating system. By 1992 Minesweeper had gained a cult following internationally, and Microsoft gradually updated the features of the game in each subsequent release of the Windows Entertainment Pack including sound, improved graphics, and the ability to replace the landmines with flowers – An alteration proposed by an anti-landmine group.
As the popularity of Minesweeper increased, several sites began to rank players of the expert board – There are several sites devoted to chronicling the top scores at the intermediate and expert levels. The current world record score for expert level is an impressive 38 seconds.
As online gaming took off, it was only natural that sites devoted to minesweeper would spring up, including a version of Facebook minesweeper allowing fans on any platform to play without requiring Microsoft Windows.