Topic: Anti-Idle: The Game /
Mindsweeper guide & strategy guide
Mindsweeper guide & strategy guide
1. Where to play?
Mindsweeper can be found, obviously, in the Arcade. However, you can’t play it straight away – you need to buy the Arcade Pack first, which costs 750 Blue Coins and can be found in the Feature Shop.
2. Why to play?
Mindsweeper has always been one of my favourite games in the Arcade, and that’s for two reasons. First of all, it gives a fairly nice 100k medal reward – 4 times the score, where the average score is usually way over a million. So that means over 40 medals per game – though it can get somewhat lengthy.
Second, it doesn’t require much skill. Unlike Pong or Ultimate Avoidance, once you get a little grasp at the strategy, it becomes mostly luck-based – which means, you don’t have to train or have a high level of skill.
3. So, how to play?
3.1. The rules
As you have probably guessed, Mindsweeper is a lot like Minesweeper, that little game you get with Windows. When you start the game, you’re presented with a grid of squares:
a) Time: You get 11 minutes for the whole game. When the time runs out, you lose and the game is over. As simple as that.
b) Turns: Clicking on each square takes up one turn, and when you run out of turns, you also lose. Unlike time, the amount of turns left can be increased – more on that later.
c) Multiplier: Multiplies the amount of points you obtain. It increases by 1 every time you finish a level (again, more on that later).
d) Score: You gain score for uncovering fields, and additional bonus for completing a level. Obviously, the higher the better.
e) Quit button: If you don’t want to play anymore, you can click this button and get your rewards. If you quit the game in any other way than losing or clicking this button, you won’t get any rewards!
f) Playfield: That’s where you actually play the game. Click on the squares to uncover them.
Unlike Minesweeper, the goal is not to clear the whole board, and there are more things to uncover than just numbers and bombs.
a) The Goal
The goal of the game is to find The Goal (a.k.a, Portal, Blue Dot). There’s one goal per the whole board. Uncovering this tile gives you 2 turns (though you lose one to uncover it, so it’s actually one turn). When you click it again, you’ll be given some turns your multiplier will increase by one, and the grid will return to its starting state, taking you to the next level. And since you can’t actually win the game, repeat the process until the game ends.
b) Normal Tiles
Most of the time, you’ll be finding those. The number on a normal tile tells you how many special tiles are surrounding it. (A special tile is any tile that’s not a normal tile – i.e. the goal and any of the ones below). Unlike Minesweeper, the higher the number is, the better.
c) Red Arrows
Those are one of the most useful tiles in the game. They show you the direction in which the goal lies – for example, the arrow pointing to the left means that the goal is somewhere to the left of an arrow. It might be important to know that the column/row in which the arrow lies is not included – that is, for a left or right arrow, the goal cannot be in the same column as the arrow, and for an up or down arrow, it cannot be in the same row.
d) Red Numbers
Another important tile. It tells you the distance to the goal – for example, if you get a red “3”, that means the goal is exactly 3 fields away from the number. Note, however, that it’s grid distance – i.e. “3 fields away” might mean 3 fields to the left, 2 to the left and 1 up, 1 to the left and 2 up, and so on. If you didn’t get it, don’t worry, more on that later.
e) +2 turns
Encountering this tile adds 2 to your amount of turns left (again, though, you still lose one for uncovering it).
Encountering this tile gives you a small amount of AI:TG experience. Aside from that, they’re largely useless, and can get annoying in later stages, when you’re looking for a red arrow or number, and all your high normal tiles have those around them.
The first tile you encounter will always be either the goal or the red arrow. Use this knowledge for an obvious strategic advantage.
You can flag the tile by holding F when you click. When the tile is flagged, you can’t accidentally click it, and it helps you see which tiles can still contain valuable hints or the goal.
Each level is harder than the previous one. Not only do you get 1 turn less for finishing, the special squares (especially the red ones) are more and more scarce.
3.2. Strategy guide
Disclaimer: This is the strategy I use, which might or might not be optimal. If you come up with anything better, let me know.
also, spoilers? don’t read if you want to figure the game out on your own
As stated previously, the first tile will either be a goal or the red arrow. That obviously means you have to place your first click as close to the middle of the playfield as possible. Since the board is 20×10, there are four such squares:
If you found the goal, congratulations! If you didn’t, don’t worry – you have now eliminated half of the playfield!
You now know that the goal is somewhere in the highlighted area. Try to keep the imaginary line in your mind – don’t flag the other half of the playfield! :) Again, place your click somewhere around the middle. What you do next depends on what you have uncovered:
a) The Goal
Well, you win this round. Back to square one.
b) XP/+2 tile
That sucks. Click again, keeping close to the middle.
c) Red arrow
Congratulations, you have now eliminated 3/4 of your playfield!
You now understand why you have to keep your clicks close to the middle. Each round, you want to eliminate as many fields as possible, so that you don’t waste turns. If you find a red arrow near the edge:
you have way more fields to search through. Of course, you might get lucky and get an arrow that cuts off, for example, all columns except of one – but per Murphy’s Law, this will never happen :)
d) Normal tile
That’s where things get interesting. If it’s a high number, you’ll want to uncover the tiles around it, because there’s a good chance that you’ll find a red arrow or number that way. If it’s low, it’s better to avoid the tiles around and click somewhere away.
The exact definitions of “high” and “low” depend on which stage you’re on, and how many turns you have left. It’s always good to click around "4"s or more, and it’s mostly good to click around "3"s. Avoid “2” and “1” tiles until you beat a couple of rounds, and of course, always avoid "0"s :)
If you decide to avoid the tile, try to click at least three squares away:
On the picture above, the player clicked the “1” first and eliminated all the green squares. Then, foolishly, he clicked too close to the “1” and found a “0”. Normally, he’d be able to eliminate all 8 squares around it, but since he already doesn’t consider 3 of them, he only gains 5 new cut-off tiles. Compare with the “2” tile to the right, which provided the player with 8 more tiles to eliminate.
Once you’ve found all special tiles around a normal tile, don’t click on the rest. You can flag them, if you want – but be careful, it takes a bit of time. The rule of thumb is: if you lose by running out of time, don’t bother flagging the tiles, if you lose by running out of turns with a lot of time left, do so.
e) Red Number
Congratulations! You haven’t won yet, but you’re very close to it! What you do now, is to limit yourself to the perimeter of the red number:
A quick way is to count the squares in one of the directions, and then click diagonally from it, until you reach the row or column of the number. Skip a square if you get a normal “0” tile, and if you get an arrow, limit yourself only to the squares in the right direction.
If you get another red number around the way, it usually means that there are only 2 or 3 squares to consider – the ones where the perimeters intersect. By this time, you should know what to do :)
Repeat the clicking for as long as necessary, and good luck (you’ll need some!)