In Minesweeper, mines are scattered throughout a board, which is divided into cells. Cells have three states: unopened, opened and flagged. An unopened cell is blank and clickable, while an opened cell is exposed. Flagged cells are those marked by the player to indicate a potential mine location.
Minesweeper is a single-player puzzle video game.
The objective of the game is to clear a rectangular board containing hidden “mines” or bombs without detonating any of them, with help from clues about the number of neighboring mines in each field. The game originates from the 1960s, and it has been written for many computing platforms in use today. It has many variations and offshoots.
Some versions of Minesweeper set up the board (after the first click) so that the solution does not require guessing. If a square containing a mine is revealed, the player loses the game. If no mine is revealed, a digit is instead displayed in the square, indicating how many adjacent squares contain mines; if no mines are adjacent, the square becomes blank, and all adjacent squares will be recursively revealed. The player uses this information to deduce the contents of other squares and may either safely reveal each square or mark the square as containing a mine.
A game of Minesweeper begins when the player makes the first click on a board with all cells unopened. This click is guaranteed to be safe with some variants further guaranteeing that all adjacent cells are safe as well. During the game, the player uses information given from the opened cells to deduce further cells that are safe to open, iteratively gaining more information to solve the board. The player is also given the number of remaining mines in the board, known as the minecount, which is calculated as the total number of mines subtracted by the number of flagged cells. The minecount is mainly useful when there are only a few remaining mines.
Frequently when playing the game, the player encounters situations when they cannot deduce any further safe cells from the information given so they would need to make a guess. Some variants of Minesweeper ensure that the board can be solved without the need to guess.
To win the game, players must open all non-mine cells while not opening any mines. Flagging all the mined cells is not required.
The “score” of the game is the time taken to complete it. The timer starts when the player makes their first click and ends when they make their last click.