Microsoft finally released their own version of Minesweeper for WP7 last week as a free Xbox Live title. Let’s see how it holds up!
Overall Score: 3/5
The controls are good, and the lasting value is also good thanks to the new additions, but the load speeds suck!
Even though a typical minesweeper field is far larger than a phone’s screen, it’s quite easy to play thanks to the simple touch controls. You can zoom out if you need to, but you can usually remain zoomed in all the time. The double-tap an open square to uncover the surrounding empty mines feature has carried over from the Windows Vista/7 version and works perfectly on the phone. You can switch between flag or digging mode, but you can typically stay in flag mode the whole time thanks to that feature; therefore, playing the game is about as fast as on a computer. There’s also all the different difficulties, and although the mine field isn’t as big as the computer version, it is definitely as hard. A new feature is the Speed mode, where you race against the clock. There’s also a scoring system, and powerups, and leaderboards…. etc. It would be a 5/5, but it takes too long to load the game!
The interface just doesn’t look that great. It uses a panoramic interface, which seems to make everything confusing. Also, when you try to open a game, it takes way too long to load the minefield. Those slow load speeds are ridiculous for a little minesweeper game. However, the actual minesweeper game looks clean and is easy to play.
Lasting Value: 3/5
There’s a lot of incentive to replay the minesweeper game, thanks to the different difficulty levels, the powerup system, and the leaderboards, but unfortunately the slow load speeds can really annoy you. Minesweeper always involves retrying the game to beat it, but when it takes 5 seconds to reload the game, it becomes really frustrating.
Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios