Minesweeper is a game that comes already installed on most new PC's. I think that it just may be the best program that Micro$oft has released to date. It is a simple-looking game, but it is highly addictive. I am living proof of that :) That's the board directly above this paragraph. The object of Minesweeper is to locate and "tag" all of the mines (read: bombs) in the shortest amount of time possible. When you right-click on a square, either a number or a mine appears. If a mine appears, then your game is over. If a number appears, then you can use the information that the number reveals to win the game. The number stands for the amount of mines located behind adjacent squares. For example, a "2" would indicate that there are bombs behind two of the eight squares surrounding the number. Eight is the largest possible number that could appear behind a square, but I have never seen one (see news flash below, added April 15, 2001, at 1:15 AM). I've seen sevens quite a few times, though.

NEWS FLASH -- After playing this game for 8 years, I finally saw an "8" during an expert game! I knew I wasn't going to break my record, but I still try to finish every game no matter how slow I'm going. In this case, I noticed a space in the upper-left part of the board that was particularly congested. I knew I would have to guess sooner or later in the middle of that bunch of bombs, so I went ahead and did it. Imagine my shock when I uncovered the fabled "8"! Here is a screenshot if you'd like to see a real live "8" on a minesweeper board (it's two squares below the red one I clicked on by mistake.)

Okay, I just found another "8," but I've upgraded to Windows XP since I last found one. Much to my surprise, the "8" is a different color in the XP version. I did a triple-take when I saw it - it's not very visible, to say the least :) Click here to see the board - the "8" is near the exact center.

This game is every bit as addictive and enjoyable as Tetris. The thing I like about Minesweeper is that games are done in less than two minutes, whereas Tetris can take twenty or even thirty minutes to play. And time is money, as they say....

If you'd like to see the finished boards of the best games I have saved, then click on the skill levels listed below:

Beginner (3 seconds, 1:00 AM on April 27, 2001)
Beginner (3 seconds again, 12:15 AM on August 14, 2001)
Beginner (3 seconds yet again, June 20, 2002)
Beginner (3 seconds once more, February 11, 2003)
Intermediate (16 seconds, 3:06 AM on February 26, 2003)
Expert (72 seconds, 4:45 AM on August 22, 1997)

Here is a wonderful minesweeper site run by a gentleman by the name of Damien Moore (who is a better minesweeper than I am). Go visit his page.

Voici un emplacement de dragueur de mines pour ceux de vous qui parlent francais. Allez le voient!