Minesweeper 3D: Universe
Flush with the success of its recent movie adaptation, Minesweeper's star had never been higher in the eyes of the world. However, taking to heart the criticism that it's puzzle gameplay had gotten a little "flat" since the Windows 3.1 years, it began to seek a new dimension in its to hook the younger audience. One conference with foreign auteur Vjekoslav Krajacic later, and the result is Minesweeper 3D: Universe. Now with depth!
The rules of Minesweeper are probably burned in the mind of 95% of the target audience, but let's review for the Mac users and those that couldn't pull themselves away from Rodent's Revenge: The object of the game is locate all the mines on the board without activating any of them. Using the mouse, click various squares on the board. If the revealed square has a number (or, as here, a die symbol) beneath, it indicates how many of the adjacent squares (including diagonals) have mines under them. Clicking a square with no mines adjacent will automatically clear those around it. Clicking a mine will end the game. The [spacebar] toggles markers to be placed on a spaces where you believe a mine to be. Putting on totally sweet shades to celebrate victory is not required, but heartily recommended.
It's pretty hard to screw up a concept like "Minesweeper... IN SPAAAAAAAAAAACE!", and Minesweeper 3D: Universe doesn't disappoint. It has a nice mix of difficulties and rotating solids to play with, even if unlocking them all should come quicker. It would have been interesting to play rounds on some of the crazier topological surfaces: Tori, Mobius Strips... A Klein Bottle might be too much to ask for, but darned if it wouldn't be fun to sweep mines on it. Also, it was more difficult than expected to disregard the muscle memory that years of Windows gaming have made reflexive: righting-clicking for flags and the like. Still, those who enjoy Minesweeper in two dimensions will find it just as enjoyable a time-waster, and a very pretty one at that.