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 Lisa Shea BellaOnline's Computer Games Editor

Minesweeper

Minesweeper is a classic Windows game that is amazing in its simplicity and its ability to build up logic skills. Any age can play - and all ages can find it quite challenging!

The game is not about fancy graphics or cool sounds. Here is the premise. You have a grid of squares, all blank. Underneath some of those grids are mines - and under most grids are empty grounds. Your task is to find all the mines without clicking on one.

Let's say you play on a 20 x 20 grid. You click on any square in that grid. If you hit a mine - game over, you were unlucky. You start again. if you click on open ground, the system now tells you how many mines touch your current square on any of the four sides. So let's say you click on empty ground and around you there is only a mine to the north. Your grid would say "1". If there was a mine to the north and east, your grid would say "2" for two mines.

You might ask, how could you possibly know WHERE the mines are based on such a feeble clue? This is where it gets cool. The game will be kind and auto-clear out any swaths of empty space touching your current location. So let's take this board as an example -

You know that the "island" of blue on the left side must have a mine, because every square around it reports only 1 mine being near it. Likewise, you know that the top row, on the very far left, must have a mine because the three surrounding squares report only 1 mine touching them.

Likewise, you know that the second block in from the top row can NOT have a mine in it. There is a "1" below that second blue block, but we know the top left blue block has a mine in it. Therefore the second blue block can NOT have a mine in it. if it did, the number beneath it would be "2".

Making these logical statements, you can start to mark certain squares as having mines, and clicking on the squares that you knwo do NOT have mines in them. Yes, you might have to make one or two "educated guesses" along the way but in general your logic skills should help you clear the board!

This free game is well worth playing daily, to strengthen those little grey cells!

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