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3D Mines Review

Developer: Toyspring Publisher: Toyspring
Release Date: November 29, 2005 Also On: None

Toyspring is famous in the Palm OS scene for creating the creative and extremely enjoyable Bike or Die. So why did they (well, it’s only one guy) waste their time developing a 3D version of Minesweeper? I don’t know but I do know that it was not a complete waste of time. Minesweeper is perhaps the most played game of the world, probably even beating Tetris, thanks to it being included with every version of Windows. So, what did Toyspring do to improve it?

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They transferred it to the 3rd dimension with all the consequences. You can now play Minesweeper on a sphere, a cube, even a Moebius! This takes Minesweeper to a new level and makes it all the more challenging. You have to turn the 3D shapes with the stylus, tap tiles to reveal them and press a tile for a longer time to mark it as a place where you suspect a mine so you don’t hit them by accident. This control style works surprisingly well and you seldom mess up by accident.

The game plays very varied, from the Moebius that is not really that different from 2D Minesweeper, to the drill cube that might make your brain want do escape through your ears. There are triangles and squares for tiles, sometimes mixed in the same level, adding variety. The game features 11 different shapes in 3 levels of difficulty and to a limited degree you can also define your own levels.

A great thing about 3D Mines is the graphics. They are not particularly beautiful or anything, it’s a Minesweeper game after all. They just do a bloody great job at displaying the game. The framerate is perfect, the colors are clear, the object zooms to the biggest possible view at any angle that has everything visible on screen. The numbers are not textured onto the tiles. Instead, they always face the player; only the size is dynamically adjusted. This is very useful because it makes them much easier to read. The explosion when you hit a bomb has a pretty nice animation. Sounds are pretty basic but they do the job.

Szymon Ulatowski from Toyspring managed to code a pretty much perfect 3D version of Minesweeper for Palm devices. If you did not hate Minesweeper, you should really check it out because it is much more fun than the original. Let’s just hope that it did not slow down the development of his next real game too much.

Graphics: 8
Sound: 7
Gameplay: 9.5
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 8.5
Final: 8
Written by Ortwin Review Guide