Minesweeper was introduced in 1990 as a Microsoft game. It has survived for the past 22 years and is just a popular as ever. Most everyone has played it as least once. Still, there is a lot of confusion about how to play it and especially how to succeed at solving it.
Since its inception, it has changed very little graphically. Some minor changes have been made, but play has remained the same. This means that once the technique is mastered, there is no reason wins should not be frequent.
Some of the varieties of the game involve having mine fields of different shapes and dimensions. There are hexagons, triangles, and even 3-D shapes. In some versions, there are even multiple bombs possible in each cell. Some games are a combination of two games. There are many variants of the game that recreate real-life battles.
One negative criticism is also a positive. That criticism is the difficulty of figuring out the bomb placements. There are mathematical formulas for determining where the bombs are, but it is quite complicated except for a confirmed mathematician.
Another criticism by some is the fact that they feel the game trivializes the persons who risk their lives in clearing real-live bombs. They say it is offensive those who have suffered personal injury or even death in a minefield.
The way the criticism about minefields was handled by some is to change the “bombs” to flowers or some other symbol.
Playing the game is extremely easy, and extremely hard. The actual mechanics are simple, but the logic and the attempt at wins are very hard.
There are beginner, intermediate, and expert levels. The levels determine how many cells are in the grid and how many mines are placed. Play then follows a routine.
• Select first cell
• Place a flag over any cell you know has a mine by right clicking on a cell
• Check numbers and determine where to place another flag
• Click to solve when all mines are located
• If you click a mine, you lose
• If you reveal and flag all cells, you win
It is easy to follow the procedures, but avoiding the mines is not as straight forward.
• Open Minesweeper
• Type XYZZY on keyboard
• Hold shift key down for 10 seconds
• Look in upper left corner for a single pixel
• Scroll over cells
• Pixel turns black if mine is present, white if no mine is present
One strategy is, of course, the mathematical formula for determining where mines are. If one is so inclined, the formula can be used to find each and every mine.
Another strategy is to click the center cell on the first move. The first cell clicked will contain no mines. Clicking the center one usually exposes more empty cells, plus numbers that will help you determine which cells contain mines.