Minesweeper/Printable version


Minesweeper

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https://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Minesweeper

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Introduction

Minesweeper is a one player puzzle game in which a player's goal is to click on all of the tiles that do not have a mine hidden under them to win. Clicking on a tile with a mine results in the loss of the game. To do well in this simple yet addicting game game, no quick reflexes are needed, just a knack for numbers and some level of luck.


Playing Levels

Minesweeper on Windows PC's comes with three configured playing levels and one free form level that present various degrees of difficulty to complete.

  1. Beginner - The player is presented with a 9x9 grid in which 10 mines are concealed. On any turn after the first turn, if you pick a random square, there is a 1 in 8.1 (10 mines/81 squares) chance that you will hit a mine and lose.
  2. Intermediate - The player is presented with a 16x16 grid in which 40 mines are concealed. On any turn after the first turn, if you pick a random square, there is a 1 in 6.4 (40 mines/256 squares) chance that you will hit a mine and lose.
  3. Expert - The player is presented with a 16x30 grid in which 99 mines are concealed. On any turn after the first turn, if you pick a random square, there is a 1 in 4.8 (99 mines/480 squares) chance that you will hit a mine and lose.
  4. Custom - Minesweeper displays a dialog box which allows the player to set grid size and number of mines. You can set your own odds from impossible-to-lose to impossible-to-win.


Playing The Game

Minesweeper mostly consists of thinking and a little bit of luck. Though it is not a game of quick reflexes or action, players may find themselves making suspenseful decisions when executing an uncertain move.

Basics of Play

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An example of a starting game board, in this case 8x8.

Minesweeper starts off with a blank board of tiles. The default is 9x9, but it can be any size. Each tile can be in three main states:

  1. It can be blank, with no information. (These are tiles that haven't been clicked on)
  2. It can have a number or remain blank.
    1. The number shows= how many mines are in the 8 tiles surrounding it.)
    2. It can be blank after clicking on it. This is effectively a number tile with the value of 0, indicating there are zero mines around it.
  3. It can be a bomb.

Example Game

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You start off with a blank grid, and for your first tile, you must guess.

Here's an example below, of a 4x4 grid:

Starting Field
       
       
       
       

Now let's say, you clicked on the tile at (2,2)

Board after first click on (2,2)
       
       
       
       

That would tell us, "1" of the 8 tiles around it are a mine. Let's try clicking on two more:

Board after clicking on two more tiles
       
       
       
       

We can tell that the tile in the top left corner has a mine, because it has to be a tile shared by all three ones. To illustrate this (? means possible mine):


Possible Mine locations based on known information.
       
       
       
       

Only one "X" is shared by all three ones, therefore, that must be our mine. Now that we know it's a mine, we can indicate that by right clicking on it. Right clicking on a tile will make it through a few of its states. The first one, would "flag" it, with a small red flag. The second, will replace the flag with a question mark (Shown above). And a third click would make it revert back to it's original state (as a blank tile).

Board after the mine has been properly marked.
       
       
       
       

The Tiles

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Blank Tiles

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The blank tiles show nothing on them. They can be hiding a number tile or a mine tile under them. A flag tile can also be played on it. In some versions of the game, there are also question mark tiles, which can also be played on blank tiles.

Number Tiles

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The number tiles can have a number from 1 to 8. The numbers tell how many mine tiles are touching the number tile.

In some versions of the game, number tiles come in many colors, making it easier to distinguish them at a glance.

Mine Tiles

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The mine tiles shows a mine on each one of them. When the player clicks on a Mine tile, then they loose the game.

Flag Tiles

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The flag tiles shows a flag on them. These tiles can still be clicked on if the flag is taken off. The player can choose where to put the flags. The flags shows your guess on where the mine is, but the game will not stop the player from placing a flag where there is no actual mine. Because of this, it is a good idea to only use a flag when you are certain there is actually a mine. If you simply suspect a mine, a question mark is often a better representation of that uncertainty.

Question Mark Tiles

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The Question mark tiles show a question mark on them. Only some versions of Minesweeper are equipped with this feature. This tile can be clicked on if the question mark is taken off. The player can choose where to put the question mark. The question mark shows where the player isn't sure what is under the blank tiles. When a player is certain a mine is beneath a tile, it is better to use a flag tile instead.

Mine Free Tiles

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Mine free tiles have no picture on them, but have been clicked on. Distinguishing them from number tiles, this tile indicates that there are no mines around them.


Game Patterns

To become proficient at the game you must learn to recognize patterns in the playing field. In the following text:

  • c = left click
  • m = mine
  • n = any number
  • w = wall
  • x = don't know/don't care

Line patterns

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Pattern: Row of Ones

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Given
...               ...
Play
...               ...

Pattern: Twin mines

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given: 1 2 1
 play: m c m

Pattern: Central Twin Mines

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given: 1 2 2 1
 play: c m m c

Pattern

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given: w 2 2 x
 play: w m m c

Pattern

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given: x 2 3 2 x
 play: c m m m c

Pattern

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given: x 2 3 3 2 x
 play: c m m m m c

Corner patterns

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Pattern: 3 in a Corner

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given: 
       x
     x 1 x
   x 1 3 c
     x c c
play:  
       x
     x x x
   x x 3 c
     x c c


Challenges

No Marking

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Play the Expert or Custom level without marking any mines.

At the start of play after a click or few clicks Minesweeper with fill in some square or squares with numbers or blanks. Study the numbers and left click the squares where you think there is no mine. If you are correct Minesweeper will fill in the clicked square with a number and may fill more squares with numbers and/or blanks. Continue until you win or lose.

This is a very tough challenge.


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