Microsoft Minesweeper

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Minesweeper
A component of Microsoft Windows
Minesweeper Icon.png
Minesweeper 7.png
Minesweeper in Windows 7, by Oberon Media, 2007
Details
Other names Minesweeper
Type Computer game
Included with
Also available for Windows 8, Windows 10

Microsoft Minesweeper (formerly Minesweeper) is a minesweeper computer game created by Curt Johnson, originally for OS/2, and ported to Microsoft Windows by Robert Donner, both Microsoft employees at the time. First officially released as part of the Microsoft Entertainment Pack 1 in 1990, it was included in the standard install of Windows 3.1 in 1992, replacing Reversi from Windows 3.0.[1] Microsoft Minesweeper has been included in all subsequent Windows releases until Windows 8. An updated version included in Windows Vista and Windows 7 was developed by Oberon Games.[2] Another updated version was developed for Windows 8 and Windows 10 by Arkadium. In Windows 8 and 10 the game is not included by default, but it is available on the Windows Store.[3][4][5]

Gameplay[edit]

Minesweeper in Windows XP

The goal of the game is to uncover all the squares that do not contain mines without being "blown up" by clicking on a square with a mine underneath. The location of the mines is discovered by a process of logic. Clicking on the game board will reveal what is hidden underneath the chosen square or squares (a large number of blank squares may be revealed in one go if they are adjacent to each other). Some squares are blank but some contain numbers (1 to 8), each number being the number of mines adjacent to the uncovered square. To help avoid hitting a mine, the location of a suspected mine can be marked by flagging it with the right mouse button. The game is won once all blank squares have been uncovered without hitting a mine, any remaining mines not identified by flags being automatically flagged by the computer. However, in the event that a game is lost and the player mistakenly flags a safe square, that square will either appear with a red X covering the mine (denoting it as safe), or just a red X (also denoting it as safe). The game board comes in three set sizes: beginner, intermediate, and expert, though a custom option is available as well.[6]

In early versions of the game, a cheat code let players peek beneath the tiles.[7]

Development[edit]

Minesweeper by Arkadium, from Windows Store

The Minesweeper boards were randomly generated and pre-determined until the release of Windows Vista, which modified the game such that the player would never lose on their first click.[8]

In 2003, Microsoft created a variation called Minesweeper Flags in MSN Messenger, which is played against an opponent with the objective to find the mines rather than the surrounding squares.[9]

The game's color scheme changed with the release of Vista (from gray to either blue or green). The icons were updated to match the Aero look. It also came with a more peaceful "flower" motif to replace the landmines.[1] This iteration of Minesweeper was created by Oberon Media.

Both motifs were updated in Windows 8, an daily challenges and an adventure mode were added. It does not use the flat Metro theme introduced in Windows 8.

Microsoft removed Minesweeper from Windows 8 and instead published the version for free on its Windows Store. The new version is developed by Arkadium and ad-supported.[10][11] The initial release was supported by 30 second video ads. Later releases had monthly and annual subscription options to remove the ads.[12][13][14] Multiple news outlets criticized the change as greedy.[15][16][17][18]

Reception[edit]

Business Insider wrote the game was an "iconic part" of the Windows operating system.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b tablesaw on February 26, 2007 7:14 PM (2007-02-26). "Column from Tony "Tablesaw" Delgado about puzzle games". Gamesetwatch.com. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  2. ^ Cobbett, Richard. "The most successful game ever: a history of Minesweeper". Techradar.com. Retrieved 2011-06-22. 
  3. ^ http://www.howtogeek.com/122145/what-happened-to-solitaire-and-minesweeper-in-windows-8/
  4. ^ http://www.howtogeek.com/225128/you-dont-have-to-pay-20-a-year-for-solitaire-and-minesweeper-on-windows-10/
  5. ^ https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/store/apps/microsoft-minesweeper/9wzdncrfhwcn
  6. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20150910020239/http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/minesweeper-how-to#1TC=windows-7
  7. ^ Woody Leonhard. Windows Vista all-in-one desk reference for dummies. p. 342. ISBN 0-471-74941-9. 
  8. ^ "What are the differences between Minesweeper for Windows XP and for Windows 7?". gaming.stackexchange.com. Retrieved 2016-08-26. 
  9. ^ http://www.yqcomputer.com/1222_17261_1.htm
  10. ^ "Arkadium on revamping Solitaire, Mahjong, and Minesweeper for Windows 8 [Interview]". Gamezebo. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  11. ^ "The new and updated games of Windows 8". Ars Technica. Retrieved 10 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Richard Hay. "Microsoft Adds Premium Subscriptions to Windows 8 Games to Remove Ads. Could Built In Apps be next?". Windows Observer. 
  13. ^ "Windows 10 makes you pay to remove ads from Solitaire". Wired UK. 
  14. ^ http://www.skynews.com.au/business/tech/2015/08/01/windows-10--you-ll-need-to-pay-for-solitaire.html
  15. ^ Alissa Walker. "If You Want Microsoft Solitaire Ad-Free It'll Cost You $10/Year". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. 
  16. ^ "Windows 10 Solitaire requires a subscription to remove ads". PC Gamer. 
  17. ^ "Windows 10: Now you have to pay to play Solitaire". Telegraph.co.uk. 31 July 2015. 
  18. ^ "How To Stop Windows 10's Spying Ads - Rock, Paper, Shotgun". rockpapershotgun.com. 
  19. ^ http://www.businessinsider.com.au/bill-gates-was-a-microsoft-minesweeper-addict-2015-8

External links[edit]