|System: X360 (XBLA)||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: TikGames||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Microsoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 11, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Minesweeper is designed to be played with a PC mouse, and the Xbox 360 controller is a poor substitute. Using the thumb stick or D-Pad to move the cursor around the board is functional, but it feels sluggish in comparison to the lightning quick decision making possible with a mouse. However, being able to zoom in and out of the board and scroll the camera angle around slightly is helpful.
A multiplayer Minesweeper Flag mode offers a new way to play the game. Up to four players can compete on a single square-shaped, top-down board using slightly reversed rules. Instead of trying to work your way around each of the mines, you're goal is to score a direct hit on the mines itself. During a player's turn, they have 10 seconds to select squares on the board. You'll get a point for each mine you hit and a chance to pick another. Missing a mine or running out of time triggers the next player's turn. While it's nice to have the option to play against the computer or pals both locally and on Xbox Live, it can be a drag waiting for your turn. The multiplayer aspect isn't quite as satisfying as the main campaign.
Spending your hard-earned cash on a game that's readily available for free in its most basic form isn't going to be the first choice for a lot of gamers. But the improvements to the classic design are substantial, and they really make the gameplay more accessible. Minesweeper fans and serious puzzle game enthusiasts will get a ton of mileage out of this upgrade; others might want to take a pass, bank the five bucks, and boot up the PC version.
CCC Staff Contributor