To start this review, I will openly admit to loving Minesweeper well before I had the pleasure of playing the iPhone version – Minesweeper Q Premium by Spica ($1.99, App Store link). In the days of Windows 95, I used to spend my afternoons as a youngster flagging bombs and carefully completing levels. Minesweeper Q Premium (MQP) has reignited a bomb detecting desire deep in my childish heart.
If you have ever played Minesweeper before and thoroughly enjoyed the puzzler, then MQP will brins everything you would expect to your iPhone/iPod Touch (sorry no dedicated iPad version). Kindly, the game has a built in link to a YouTube channel with video instructions for Minesweeper n00bs, but if you are already familiar with the game, the controls will seem very natural. To uncover a block, simply tap. To flag a block, hold the tap until the flag is dropped. The length of the hold can be set in the options section, and if you are going for a timed record, I suggest shortening the hold time.
Other options include appearance (themes), multi-language support, Game Center, sounds, question marks (on/off), touch sensitivity, and, of course, difficulty. The difficulty setting has four options:
- Beginner – 9×9 block set with 10 mines
- Intermediate – 16×16 block set with 40 mines
- Advanced – 16×30 block set with 99 mines
- Custom – which can be set has large as 24×30 and up to 667 mines – good luck!
MQP also keeps advanced statistics for each difficulty level, including: time to complete; win percentage; games played; games won; longest winning/losing streak; and current streak.
The tap controls and flagging are smooth and refined. Instead of a pinch-to-zoom, the board scrolls and it is easy to forget what is being viewed. In no means does it detract from the excellent iOS format of MQP, but I wish pinch-to-zoom was at least an option. Aside from the lack of a scrolling option, the ability to control all other aspects of the game makes it even more enjoyable than the original.
Conclusion [rating 4/5]
Ultimately, Minesweeper Q Premium ($1.99, App Store link) is an excellent game and one I will be playing it very frequently. It is everything one would expect from an ageless classic desktop game. There are no new-age gimmicky levels or modes – just pure Minesweeper. It is refreshing to have an older game ported to a new medium without someone trying to re-make a classic.
In considering all aspects of this game, I feel like a 4/5 rating is necessary. Do yourself a favor and pick up this little stocking stuffer for the holiday season!
- Plays exactly like the original
- Smooth controls and gameplay
- Themes – in case the original gray is too drab
- Game Center – compare scores and times with friends
- Involved settings with game controls
- Custom boards, if you get bored……
- No pinch-to-zoom option
- $.99 would be more agreeable