Minesweeper is the greatest accomplishment of the information age, a masterpiece of digital art.

User Rating: 9.5 | Minesweeper PC
Coming for free with nearly every single computer since 1992, it's easy to write off Minesweeper as nothing more than a feature of the operating system as opposed to a fully realized game in its own right, no more worthy of note or review than Calculator or WordPad. But this would be very wrong, as Minesweeper's simple but addictive nature and wealth of options make it one of the most entertaining games of all time, and the best way to waste time while you're supposed to be writing an essay in the library for a class.

The gameplay of Minesweeper is a simple affair. The field is a grid, either 10x10 in Beginner difficulty, 16x16 in Intermediate, and 16x30 in Expert. The game is played by clicking on any given square on the grid, which makes a number pop up telling you how many mines are located in the squares touching that square. Any square not adjacent to mines will show up as blank. Clicking on a mine means game over. The only strategy involved in Minesweeper is using mathematics to determine based off of the squares whose properties you know to determine where mines cannot be and where mines must be, and acting accordingly. Places you know mines are can be marked, you win the game when all mines are marked and you have no marks on places where mines are not.

It's simple, but on the game's two highest difficulties the logic involved can quickly become very challenging. While the beginner difficulty loses its charm quickly once you get the hang of the basics, Intermediate and Expert difficulties are always a good challenge. In fact, the only real problem with the gameplay here is that on Expert difficulty it is often impossible to determine the locations of every mine based on logic, meaning that your end game will almost definitely degenerate to the dreaded guess. Other than this, there are few flaws within Minesweeper's mechanics. They are easy to pick up, the game runs well on any computer, glitches are near non-existant, and crashes are almost unheard of. Minesweeper is technically well put together.

While there's not much base content in Minesweeper, only three difficulties and no alternate campaigns to speak of, there is a robust mode for editing difficulty settings to your own preferences, making sure that you can always make a challenge suiting to yourself, and a simple but effective method of keeping track of high scores. This plus the challenge presented by expert difficulty make sure that Minesweeper is a game that you will always be coming back to, whether you're bored at home, the office, or during class time.