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In the unlikely event you’ve never played it, the gist is that you start with an empty field (its size and number of mines determined by difficulty setting) and have to uncover squares one at a time. Underneath each is either a space, a number, or a mine. The numbers tell you how many mines are in the adjacent boxes, the mines kill you dead. To win, you have to clear the field without touching a mine. It’s a relatively simple game of deduction, but satisfying.
The main alterations to the game have been simple ones. The difficulty was slightly tweaked in Windows 2000 and onwards, and Microsoft hired Oberon to do a full rewrite for the Vista version.
Sadly, this cut out our favourite feature of the originals: the cheat code. Pointless as it sounds, if you’re still on Windows XP, give it a try. Load the game, type ‘xyzzy’ and press the left shift key.
Now, watch the very top left of your screen. When your mouse cursor hovers over a safe square, you’ll see one single white pixel. Move over a mined square, and it becomes black. It’s an eyesight-killer of an easter egg, but an excellent way to impress your friends.
For a few seconds, anyway.
As innocuous as it seems, Minesgame hasn’t been without its critics. To most of us, mines are just a handy framework to wrap the deductive gameplay around.
This isn’t the case elsewhere in the world, where they remain a threat, and a symbol of pain and suffering. In 2001, a group calling itself the International Campaign to Ban Winmine attempted to make Microsoft choose something less controversial as its subject matter, and there have been other similar protests over the years.
For Vista, Microsoft finally capitulated, and began offering a flower based alternate tileset.
The History of Minesgame
Our original Minesgame is based off the classic Windows version. Minesweeper was first released by Microsoft in 1990, and every release of Windows since then has had a version of the game.
The history of Minesgame goes back to the early 80’s when many ‘mine’ games were released for early home computers. The earliest proven digital ancestor of Minesweeper is Mined-Out, which was released for the Sinclair Spectrum in 1983. Board games like Battleship and versions played on paper have been enjoyed for decades before that, and all contributed in their own way to what would ultimately became Minesweeper.
The game evolved over the 1980’s into the game we love today. Most of the key features like right-click (to mark a mine) and numbers (showing you adjacent bombs) evolved in the last 2-3 years of the 80’s.
This browser based, online version is maintained by the Free Video Games Project and was originally developed by Shep Poor in 2005. Shep’s original early Java script 1.1 version was a masterpiece, and it’s a credit to how well it was coded back then that much of that code still works unmodified today. Over the years we have significantly developed and added to the game, to play nicer on modern browsers, and most recently to add capabilities so that it now works on mobile devices and tablets too.
Mines Game Online Casino was the ultimate office computer game in the 90’s and remains hugely popular to this day. Free Mines Game is the original and , Mines Game Online Casino and has served over a billion Mines Game since launch in 2010. In 2022 we embarked on a major overhaul to refresh the design, and add necessary support for phones and tablets.