Minesweeper is one of those true built-in PC classics we all played back on in the day. I can’t tell you how many countless computer classes I spent playing the game rather than listening to the subjects I already knew. When I heard about Minesweeper Genius from Blowfish Studios, I was instantly curious about how a modern spin on Minesweeper would play. To my surprise pretty well!
Aristotle has been abducted by aliens! Now to escape their experiments he must work his way through numerous minefields with nothing but his trusty broom.
Unlike the classic PC Minesweeper, that lets you click anywhere on the grid to find bombs or safe spaces, Minesweeper Genius works as a linear puzzle game. Aristotle begins at a certain point on each map and must navigate safely to an end zone. Along the path player will need to figure which spaces are safe to travel on and which contain bombs.
The number of bombs contained in a row is dictated by the number displayed in the light bulbs on the top and left of the level. Mid-level tiles may also contain a number to indicate the number of bombs adjacent to it. Using these numbers you can begin placing flags on tiles you suspect contain bombs. Hitting a bomb will decrease your level star rank so you can only hit 3 before you will have to retry on a newly generated map.
Aside from hidden bombs, there are special movement tiles that can launch Aristotle over a tile or change the layout of the level. These tiles are essential to completing a level so you know you will always head towards them on the way to the end point. Due to the way the game is designed there should not be any guesswork involved in solving a level as long as you pay close enough attention to the board!
Overall the campaign mode of Minesweeper Genius contains 150 levels. Over 50 of these levels are advanced levels that provide a greater challenge than the standard campaign level. Advance levels begin to unlock once you reach the 3rd “island” of the campaign. If the campaign doesn’t provide enough levels for you a level generator is also included to allow user-generated levels.
Being a puzzle game there really isn’t anything to write home about the visuals of the game. Everything is simple and clean and runs smoothly. There is a fun touch with Aristotle falling asleep if you are taking time to figure out where to place flags.
Like visuals, there isn’t much in the way of audio in Minesweeper Genius. Aristotle has some chirpy sounds bombs make explosion sounds and movement is accompanied by a sweeping sound. The whole game is also accompanied by a background track that continually repeats so by the time you finish 30 levels you are pretty much zoning it out or turning it off.
Thanks to the level generator puzzle fans will be able to always come back for more even after the campaign is complete!
What It Could Have Done Better
About the only thing I can nitpick about the game would be its lack of background music. Due to the length of the game it is tiresome to hear the same song so much.
Minesweeper Genius accomplishes what it sets out to do. A modern take on an old PC classic with its own unique spins. The switch to linear puzzling is a ton of fun and some of the advanced levels are real head-scratchers. For any puzzle fan looking for a good puzzle game on the go or home consoles look no further than Minesweeper Genius!