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Every once in a while you come across a game that is so revolutionary that it shatters the gaming industry and turns all the gaming companies upside down. A couple years ago, that game was Half-Life, and this year? It's Minesweeper. Blizzard Entertainment, be afraid!!
My buddy here at work and I were still spooging over American McGee's Alice instead of finishing up our review for it (we are sooooo pissed that that other stupid review beat us when it said Alice was a cross between M.C. Escher and Salvator Dali, they stole our idea!!), but then we received the game of 2000 on a floppy disk. I was skeptical that this could pose any challenge for my mad Xterminator gamepad skillz, but as a devoted reviewer for you, the reader, I put my job first and sucked in my gut and took one for the captain and did one last thing for the gipper and insatlled Minesweeper on my elite Win95 box. This is my exhilarating experience.
The graphics are extremely exhilarating! I tried this baby on a multitudinous myriad of resolutions and refresh rates and each one ran superbly! If only today's gaming companies could produce such a versatile and cleanly-coded game as this one (hint hint Eidos, Siera), then we as gamers would have better games to play.
Regrettably the game does not offer Direct3D or OpenGL support. But it doesn't matter as the in-game graphics are top-notch. They're so good they make Expendable's once ground-breaking graphics look like Pong. It's exhilarating looking at the glorious bevelling and shadowing on each square, and the digital number font on the scores is an added bonus. If you look carefuly, the smiley face that stands out like Ra the Sun God makes a little face if you click on a square. Watch out, there's even a bomb icon that looks like the real thing!
Minesweeper doesn't have much sound, but my co-workers and me agree that this is merely a well-strategized move by the programmers too save hard disk space and be less distracting. However, the sounds it does have are glorious and exhilarating, so much so that I turn up my Radio Shack dual mini-speaker setup every time I play. I was hoping for A3D or EAX tweaking but I think that's coming in the next patch.
Playing off the originality of the recent hit Tekken Tag Tournament, Minesweeper has a fresh concept that breaks the mold of 3D shooters and isometric RTSs. Minesweeper is completely 2D and involves you finding the dangerous and exhilaratingly lethal bombs scattered through each map. If you find all of time, you become crowned the victor.
I know I got a little tired of running around in tunnels' and halls just shooting big unrealistic guns at people. But finding bombs is' more of a thinking man's game, much like Messiah and Deus Ex were recently. Mouse jockeys need not apply!! I loved this game's replayability -- it has an endless number of different maps that never gets boring. PLUS you can up the number of bomb's and size of the map. There are multitudinous skill levels as you gain in Minesweeper prowess. More games need this level of skill scaling.
There is no multi, although there is already a movement starting in our forum to get multiplayer/LAN support added in the next major point release. Those rumors that we are the only ones posting support for a multi patch are grossly misleading. Don't let a few bad apples spoil the soup.
This is where the game falters terribly. Apparently the programmers didn't see fit to add support for my Xterminator gamepad or my buddy's Razor Boomslang. And this is the 21st Century! You need look no further than Metal Gear Solid or Microsoft Hearts for an example of nice customization menus and support. This is really scandalous and a major oversight by the design team. The menu system is inferior to other games and very simplistic. It looks like they spent five minutes making it. Could some evil distributing company have pressured the talented developers into releasing their work early?? I think so!
Well, despite this garnish oversight, we have decided that because the rest of the game was so excellent, that we're creating a new award in honor of such an amazing game, and we're calling it the Extreme Ground-Breaking Exhilarating New Game Award, and for 2000 it goes to Minesweeper. Congrats to the team who made this addictive game, and let's hope we see similar such games coming in 2001! And evil distributors, stop interferring! Minesweeper gets 26 stars!
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