3D Logic Minesweeper v1.0- by Tim Middleton

You hear it said sometimes, in newsgroups and other places, that OS/2 users are generally of a higher quality than Windows users. OS/2 users supposedly demand more from their operating system of choice, and generally are more technically knowledgeable.

I can't vouch for the veracity of the above statements, but in light of its hypothesis it seems like poetic justice that 3D Logic Minesweeper by Paul Reid of Isar Software GmbH, has been released as an OS/2 program.

I'm sure most everybody is familiar with the classic Minesweeper game which was bundled with Windows 3.1. Probably many people besides myself became addicted to the simple deductive puzzle:

An amazingly simple concept, yet beguilingly intriguing.

3D Logic Minesweeper, like some say OS/2 did for operating systems, takes the concept to a whole new level of sophistication.

To keep with the metaphor, there are some other common comparisons between OS/2 and Windows which seem to apply to this new "3D Logic" version of Minesweeper vs. "Classic" Minesweeper.

A few may be a bit disappointed, in this world of virtual reality and first person perspective 3D games, to find that the "3D" part of 3D Logic Minesweeper is conceptual rather than visual. The game is played on three 2-dimensional grids which are laid out side by side (GIF, 14.3k). The grid on the left represents the top, the middle is the middle level, and bottom level is on the right.

This is quite challenging to get used to at first. However, 3D Logic Minesweeper includes several very helpful toggles and visual aids. There is a "Learn Mode" which warns you when you have made a mistake, instead of blowing you up. There is a "Hint" function which will analyze your game and show you where the first free cell(s) or bomb(s) are that the program can deduce -- you can then blindly accept the information or actually try to figure out the logic required make those identifications. In addition to these, there are also several other functions available on the "assistance" menu.

One very nice interface feature which helps one's three dimensional visualization quite a bit is the big box outlines (GIF, 12.8k) 3D Logic Minesweeper can draw which shows you all of the cells, on all levels, adjacent to a current safe cell. The box feature can be toggled to happen automatically or only with the right mouse button. The program can also tally up for you how many of the juxtaposed hidden cells contain mines or are free. Very handy, very helpful.

I find myself fascinated and obsessed by these puzzles. It is all the more frustrating knowing that they are all logical and solvable -- I have yet to solve more than half of one, and usually I mess up most games long before I even get that far! However, over the course of many games, the astute player will slowly discover various strategies to be used to eliminate cells and deduce their contents.

When I first saw the game I was completely overwhelmed by the magnitude of complication in the puzzle. But, liking a good challenge for the old gray cells, I stuck with it a while and found myself soon learning new methods of logic to apply to patterns and situations, and making some very satisfying progress.

3D Logic Minesweeper is released as fully functional shareware. The author requests a registration fee of, "DM 25.00, $15.00, or some approximate equivalent."

If you like tricky logic problems, and brain twisting challenge, you can pick up 3D Logic Minesweeper v1.0 from ftp.hobbes.edu in the os2/games/ subdirectory under the filename "mine3d.zip".


 * 3D Logic Minesweeper v1.0
by Isar Software GmbH
download from Hobbes (ZIP, 58K)
MSRP: US$15
Tim Middleton is the maintainer of the OS/2 Yarn (Off-Line Mail/News Reader) "Bells and Whistles" Web site.

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