Minesweeper is a game included in all iterations of Windows from Windows 3.1 onward. The game consists of squares arranged in a rectangular grid. Some of the squares have mines hidden under them. If you left-click on a square with a mine under it then you lose. If there isn't a mine, then a number appears indicating the number of mines under adjacent squares. If there are no mines in any of the nearby squares, then it automatically clears those squares. The object of the game is to clear every square that doesn't have a mine. To make this easier, you can mark squares that you believe to have a mine with a flag. Also, some versions of the game allow you to place a question mark as an option. The game tells you the number of mines left that you have not marked. Also, the game clock records the speed with which you have completed the game. If you complete the game in a record amount of time for a given difficulty, then it saves your time and alias.
The game includes three standard difficulty modes and a custom difficulty. The difference between the different modes is the size of the rectangular grid and the number of mines. The custom difficulty mode in the Vista version lets you set the height, width, and number of mines independently. The standard difficulty modes are
- Beginner: 9x9 grid, 10 mines
- Intermediate: 16x16 grid, 40 mines
- Expert: 16x30 grid, 99 mines
Using the Custom Mode, you can make the mine count as high as 667 with a 24x30 grid on Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Using logic, it is possible to improve your odds of winning, but in some situations it is just luck. Maximizing your odds of succeeding is actually very difficult since it requires probability analysis. It is not enough to calculate the odds of a particular square having a mine. Rather, you must also consider the information revealed if there is no mine.
Minesweeper will receive a graphical update with the release of Microsoft Windows 8 in October. It's currently not clear what other new features it will release with (if any), but screenshots indicate, at least, a revamp visually.
Many people have scored 1 second on beginner, which is the minimum score possible.
The record time for intermediate difficulty is 7.27 seconds, set by Kamil Muranski of Poland. Video
The record time for expert difficulty is 31.133 seconds, also set by Kamil Muranski of Poland. Video