Forget Call of Duty, Real Men Need the Retro Love: Minesweeper

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chris-littlechild - January 8, 2014

Yes indeed. Here it is. Hold on to your asses, steel yourselves and lock grandma in the basement, because effing Minesweeper is coming at your faces right now.

This strategic little puzzler has dwelt on PCs since time began, alongside other ancient Windows ballaches like SkiFree and that badass space pinball game. It's an homage to a simpler time, when video games weren't about shooting hordes of encroaching zombies in their moldy balls, or K/Ds, or liking on Facebook or retweeting or any of that BS. They were, presumably, only about landmines. And visuals so tedious they made you want to punch your own eyes in the face.

Minesweeper was many people's first introduction to games (the poor bastards). Back in our youth, when computers were primarily used for drawing big ol' penises on Paint while Ma wasn't looking, this was as good as it got: grid-and-number-based logical funtimes. It looks like the kind of thing elderly bespectacled math teachers would play while taking a dump, and it probably was.

And still is. So let's switch tenses like the badasses we are, party like it's the early nineties, and take a look.

Your objective is to cruise across a minefield and emerge with all four of your limbs still attached. This is done by gradually uncovering squares on the grid, isolating those you suspect are mined along the way. Naturally, touching a mined square is all kinds of uncool, and will end your game immediately.

This is FAR too accurate.

To avoid explosive doom, there's a canny hint system in play. The squares on the board display numbers, which tell you how many mines are in adjacent spaces. You can then place your manly little flags on suspected dangerous spots, and proceed in this fashion until you either clear every non-explodey space or your ‘nads get blown off. It's as simple as that.

Or rather, it isn't. Our personal fond memories of Minesweeper mostly involve not knowing what in holy hell was going on. Oftentimes, we'd simply prod at the grid at random, like a click-happy chimpanzee given a PC by overzealous trainers, and see how long we could survive. Which wasn't long at all. There's a proud tradition of gamers who have never emerged victorious from Minesweeper's evil web of confusion and embarrassment. Such as, for instance, the guy on answerbag who asked, "How can I learn to play Minesweeper? I've been practicing for about 8 years and I've never won a game yet, even on the beginner level."

We're right there with you, buddy.

Eight years, we can all agree, is a whole lot of dicking around with Minesweeper. But that's how it is. This is a real nostalgic classic, which lives on through re-releases and updates and speedruns and so forth. Among those who don't suck ass at it, that is.

Finally, here it is, in all its decrepit glory (courtesy of 755someone755):

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