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Ponystar17

Minesweeper Help/Theory Thread

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As I've seen a fair number of people posting in the event thread asking for help beating the Minesweeper minigame, I figured people might appreciate a topic to learn some of the shortcuts or get help with a game they're stuck on. I'll start by explaining the fundamental rules of Minesweeper, but I'll also list a few simple tips on how to play, illustrated using my current game.

 

Rules

 

1. The goal of the game is to reveal every square which does not have a mine (or 'virus') on it, which is done by left-clicking on them. If you accidentally click on a square containing a mine, you lose.

2. The first square you click on will never have a mine in it.

3. If a revealed square has a number on it, this number tells you how many of the squares touching it contain mines. These squares can be horizontally, vertically, or diagonally adjacent. (Paraphrased from Rhynn Collins' post.)

4. If a revealed square does not have a number on it, there are no mines adjacent to it.

5. You can 'flag' a square to remind yourself that you know there's a mine there by right-clicking on it. The game does not inform you if you've flagged an empty square.

 

Strategy Tips

 

1. The Inside Corner Strategy: The first and easiest way to find mines, in this player's opinion. Generally a very good way to start. If there's only one unknown tile adjacent to a 1, it must be a mine. For example, take a look at this game.

user posted image

The tiles with red Xs must contain mines, since otherwise some of the 1-squares would not have adjacent mines at all. An easy way of spotting tiles like this is to look for areas where the known area curves inward around the unknown area, so there is a numbered tile with only a single unknown tile diagonally adjacent to it. Illustrated in this picture of the same game:

user posted image

The same principle can be re-applied when looking at a partially-solved board. For example, looking at the first image...

user posted image

...shows that there is a 2 near the middle of the board. One of the mines adjacent to it has already been accounted for. Since there's only one other adjacent space which we do not know is safe, the mine must be in this space (marked by the yellow X).

user posted image

One could also come to the same conclusion by just looking at the 2 and deciding that since there are only two unknown adjacent spaces, they must both be mines.

 

2. How To Find Blank Spaces: Each number refers to the exact number of mines adjacent to the space. So if you've already figured out where those are, all the other unknown spaces adjacent must be safe. For example:

user posted image

The upper right one of the two spaces marked in blue must be clear because we already know the locations of the mines around the 3 adjacent to it. So if there was a mine in that space, the 3 would have four mines adjacent to it, which is clearly just wrong. The same principle applies to the lower left blue-marked space: it's adjacent to two 1s, both of which are also adjacent to a known mine.

 

Some games can't be completely solved by using these rules - either they require more complex logic or it's not actually possible to know whether a space contains a mine. For example, this game is not reliably solvable since the last two mines could each be in one of two spots, and there's no way of knowing exactly where either is.

user posted image

Knowing and applying these rules should help in most situations, though.

 

If anyone else has any general advice to contribute to a DC-Minesweeper guide, I'd be more than happy to hear it and (if permitted) add it to this post. Likewise, if you're stuck on a game, feel free to ask for help, or ask questions if you're confused by my explanation! smile.gif

 

(For what it's worth, a minesweeper topic exists in Video Games, but it's lain dormant since 2013, so I saw it as fair game to post this in Site Discussion since it pertains to what's currently an aspect of the game. If mods disagree, move/lock away.)

Edited by Ponystar17

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To add to this, I'm more than willing to help people out with the aid of screenshots. I'd be able to mention specific spots similarly to a chess board, numbering the columns 1-8 and lettering the rows A-H. Top left would be A1, one step to the right A2, three steps down D2, one right and one up C3 and I guess you get the point by now.

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The sentence which got me to finally understand Minesweeper years ago:

 

The numbers tell you how many mines are in the squares touching the number's square; horizontally, vertically and diagonally

 

That is what the entire ruleset of minesweeper comes down to.

 

(feel free to add that to the first post if you think it's useful)

Edited by Rhynn Collins

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The sentence which got me to finally understand Minesweeper years ago:

 

The numbers tell you how many mines are in the squares touching the number's square; horizontally, vertically and diagonally

 

That is what the entire ruleset of minesweeper comes down to.

 

(feel free to add that to the first post if you think it's useful)

It's easy to accidentally start explaining strategies without properly outlining how the rules of the game work. Added basic rules including what you mentioned to the original post - thanks!

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To reiterate what Felixr2 said, I'd be very happy to help anyone who needs help. Just PM me a screenshot and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. I love this kind of game and I'm pretty good at it too.

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Here are AGYK and Dirtytabs' guides as well.

 

https://forums.dragcave.net/index.php?showt...0entry9319177

 

OKAY. There are way too many of you not having an easy time with the Minesweeper game, so I threw together an Imgur album explaining how the logic behind the game works.

 

Once you get used to the basic logic, you'll start recognizing patterns, and then the game gets a lot simpler. This should help you get that far.

 

Use it and enjoy it! And go spread that cure!

 

https://forums.dragcave.net/index.php?showt...0entry9319336

 

All right, AGYK already beat me to a guide, but I've made a (sloppier) one for those who would like another example. (Click for full size)

 

user posted image

 

Happy sweeping!

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For some more intermediate-ish tricks, these are some of my favorite patterns to look for:

 

The 1-2-1

user posted image

Whenever you see this combo, the two mines will be separate from each other. Your reflex should be to click next to the 2 since it's always safe.

 

The 1-2-2-1

user posted image

This combo means that the two mines are next to each other. Unlike the previous pattern, always make sure to mark the spots next to the 2's as mines.

 

The 2-3-2

user posted image

Any sort of 3 in a straight line means that the mines will also be in a line next to it, and the 2's mark where it ends. In this picture, the square up and to the right of the red box is guaranteed safe. If there was a row that was 2-3-3-3-3-3-2 all in a line, that means there are seven mines next to each other, with a safe spot on each end.

 

The 4-corner

user posted image

This one means you should immediately go and mark the four spots surrounding the corner of the 4 tile. Finding these helps you clear almost half of the mines on the board.

 

Happy curing/infecting!

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Adding two more common patterns - these are two of my favorites, they are less obvious, but very helpful.

 

user posted image

 

Both of them only work along stretches that are straight for at least 3 tiles, and you should start looking for the pattern at the outer frame of the game. I think it also works if you start at a corner that is followed by a straight stretch of 3 tiles, but there are easier ways that have already been mentioned for corners.

 

The 1-1-? pattern

The tile next to the ? is always safe.

 

The 1-2-? pattern

The tile next to the ? is always a mine.

Edited by Ha-Ki

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Something I haven't seen mentioned yet, but keep track of how many bombs you have left to find. For example, let's say you have a clump of unknowns. Look up at the bombs left to mark and it may make it clear that say, only 1 bomb is left. You have a "50/50" here and another "50/50" diagonally from it. They must share a bomb. It can reveal safe squares to you that may help solver it.

 

I don't have a picture to show you. There was a situation like this posted in the news thread but I didn't see it in time to help. The game she posted was actually possibly winable but people told her just to guess. She might not have lost that game. (can't find the post so I can't repost)

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For those who need it, I'm very much willing to help anyone with a game, via screenshots. smile.gif

 

Just shoot a PM or post here or in the news thread, I'll be stalking for a good while xd.png

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If anyone wants an easy trick to read the game meter for spread/cure here it is. This was done on a pc in chrome.

 

Right click the meter and in the drop down menu, select inspect.

 

In the box below that opens up, a row should be highlighted saying div class="_2u_6". Click the arrow left of it and some new rows will appear underneath.

The percentage will be listed there for the spreading team.

 

I'd post screenshots, but photobucket's being slow.

Edited by Daydreamer09

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