Minesweeper Q is exactly what you’d expect; it’s Minesweeper. But it is of course an undisputed truth, in the world of gaming, that Minesweeper is absolutely brilliant. And with Spica’s addition of a streamlined, simple settings interface, a few cheeky themed backgrounds and their seamless development of the app for a touchscreen system, they’ve come pretty close to reinventing the wheel, and possibly making Minesweeper better than it already was.
Although still the same game, the use of the iPhone’s touchscreen seems to make Minesweeper that bit more accessible; you can swap quickly to flagging mode to tag tiles you think are mines, and then tap the Mode button again and get straight back into the action. The sounds, of course, are nothing special, but the graphics are note-perfect to the original, and the extra backgrounds are a neat addition, especially the ‘Retro’ environment, which is pleasantly reminiscent of cave levels in Super Mario World.
The difficulty levels offer a challenge for anyone, from the complete novice to the most experienced sweeper, and there are all sorts of cool bits and pieces you can alter from the menu, like turning question marks on and off for your tagging, altering touch sensitivity and changing what the game does in response to you losing; you could jump straight back into the action with an auto-restart if you lose, but if you’re a reflective person, have it bring up a menu so you can sit and curse your stupidity for a few minutes before trying again.
Minesweeper Q keeps a record of your best stats and your winning percentage, and has a smooth and easy sharing feature to brag about your 100 second decimation of Advanced Difficulty that works with Twitter, and with Facebook in both text and screenshot forms. If you can put up with the advert banner at the bottom (which makes no irritating noise and is easily ignored), this is a must have for anyone who commutes for longer than ten minutes. And it’s free!
Disclosure: A small review fee was paid by the developer in order to expedite the publication of this review.