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Review: Minesweeper Genius — the most fun you’ve had since the mid-1990s

Remember Minesweeper? Get ready to meet the classic game’s spiritual successor

Price: $2/£2
Version: 1.0
Size: 215.7 MB
Developer: Mother Gaia Studio
Platform: iPhone and iPad

Get Minesweeper Genius

I don’t know about you, but the best part of my early ‘90s gaming days were spent with Minesweeper on my parents’ computer. Now, you can enjoy this nostalgic game on your iOS device, but that’s not all. Because this modern incarnation of Minesweeper — called Minesweeper Genius — puts a fresh twist on this timeless classic.

If you’ve never heard of Minesweeper, the original game is pretty simple. Players were presented with a grid of tiles; the aim was to clear the grid whilst avoiding numerous hidden mines. The only help you got with this is that cleared tiles would feature a number: this number told you how many mines were adjacent to the one you’d just cleared.

There are plenty of levels on offer in the brand new Minesweeper Genius.

Minesweeper Genius is a little different, but the premise is still the same. Now, gamers are in charge of a character with a brush (called Aristotle) who needs to escape from alien antagonists. To do so, Aristotle must progress through level after level of tiled floors featuring — you got it — hidden mines. There’s help, namely in the form of numbers which reveal how many mines are hidden on each row. Through logic and reasoning, players should be able to guide Aristotle to safety by tapping on safe tiles to walk upon.

The game starts simple enough: your aim is to get from one side of the grid to the other without stepping on a hidden mine.

This offers a nice twist on the classic formula. I remember the old Minesweeper being something of a pot-luck kind of game more often than not, but Minesweeper Genius is instead a smart puzzler that will give your brain a solid workout.

Aristotle can only move one tile at a time — you’ll need to keep on tapping to navigate him all the way to the end of the level, and it’s unfortunately not possible to draw out a path with your finger to speed this process up. However, Minesweeper Genius does include a couple of bonus features: first, special tiles with arrows on them will let you propel Aristotle over an adjacent tile, effectively skipping it. And second, players can place flags on tiles which they think has a bomb underneath.

There are some modern twists on this classic formula: using the arrow tile, players can bounce (and skip) over an adjacent tile.

You have three lives for each level, and to give players an extra advantage, Minesweeper Genius marks out the tiles you’ve previously died on so you know to avoid them. There are tons of levels on offer (an unlimited number can be created by the app’s procedural generator), and Minesweeper Genius also features support for iCloud Save so you can continue playing on a different device.

Usefully, when you perish in the game, the death tile will be flagged so you don’t stand on it again.

All in all, this is a neat puzzler that iOS users will love. It doesn’t matter if you played the original or not; pick up the new app, and see how much of a Minesweeper Genius you really are.