19 people found this review helpful
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 2.2 hrs on record
Posted: Feb 15, 2019 @ 9:42am
Product received for free

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Globesweeper brings a single-player logic puzzle game that is almost as old as computer games have been around to the modern PC, and it adds a three-dimensional twist just to make it more interesting. With the 3 difficulty settings, 3 types of games, and 5 globe sizes all easily available from the start, the game will please many of those (myself included) who have played thousands upon thousands of games in the original minesweeper game that came bundled with so many Windows OS of yesteryear.

The traditional game is mimicked in the form of the cube-structured game with six faces and a contiguous grid that extends beyond each of the faces. This is the classic mode. The hexagon and triangle game modes were not ones I had previously played, but offered their own challenges, especially amid attempts to rapidly progress through the games. There are Steam leaderboards for each mode, each difficulty, and each map size in combination. So for people who want to take this single-player mode and make it competitive, here's your chance to do it!

Even though the logic is solid behind this game, inevitably you will run across situations that requires you to do some guessing. This is unfortunate if you are playing through one of the huge levels and end up with 1-2 areas that are not going anywhere without you taking a chance to fail. Some people will find this annoying, but that's the nature of this randomly generated puzzle game. Inevitably the computer RNG will give you a bad combination and you will just have to deal with it.

The traditional game of being able to click left and right mouse buttons together to clear everything not yet revealed around a number after all of the mines have been flagged has been replaced by a double left click. This took a little bit of time to get used to, and I am sure veteran Minesweeper will wish that the original binding can be put back or at least allow the player to choose how the keys are bound. I am in this boat as well, because it's hard to kick a habit that's more than 20 years old just because this game provided a different set of clicking functions.

There are plenty of people who will spend a good number of hours on this game, especially if they are trying to go after all of the achievements. The largest mine fields are the triangle puzzles, with 20,480 tiles, and at the highest density will hold 5120 mines. Of course the achievement can be unlocked with standard density instead of the higher density, but that's still 3413 mines. I wish anyone who wants to pursue this the best of luck! (I think my best chance is the classic at standard density, but I keep making stupid mistakes after a little while, just from losing my concentration, because that has still has a fairly sizable cube containing 1295 mines.)

When I launched the game for the first time, I recorded my gameplay and you can find that here:

Flag mines, clear out the rest of the safe areas, just as you would in the traditional minesweeper game. Only difference is you are operating on a bigger grid with a complete 3-D map that wraps back onto itself from any side. In a way this makes guessing work less problematic for corners that you may traditionally encounter.

Mouse only at this time. Left click to reveal a tile and surrounding safe tiles, as usual. Right click to flag mines. Left click hold and drag to rotate the globe/cube, and right click hold and drag to on single-plane on-axis rotation. (The autoclear function is traditionally left+right click, but here it's a double left click, and that keeps messing me up.)

Simple, straightforward. There are a bunch of themes to unlock by playing, the coolest one is Earth, in my opinion. Of course playing classic with Earth theme is a bit funny, since you get a cube version of Earth. Then there's an option to use a "Spherized Cube," giving you a globe, even in classic mode.

I really like the Old School theme, but unfortunately I don't like the small amount of relief that contrasts a depressed and revealed tile vs an untouched tile. I like the Old School for the classic set of colors that go with the numbers. If this relief/appearance could be made to be more self-telling, that would be wonderful.

F11 to go into full-screen mode. Otherwise, the window starts off being super small. Of course, you can drag the corners to make it bigger, but I just played on full-screen.

There's a fairly soothing and relaxing track constantly running in the background. You can turn this off any time because it does get old after a while. There are sound effects with practically every click, each time you flag a mine or clear out the surrounding area. This got to be too much for me, and I turned it off. There are no variable music and sound effect sliders. I just turned everything off and listened to my own music, so it didn't matter. But to some people, this is a QoL setting that is a must.

Well, it's a really good logic puzzle game. The wrap-around environment makes for less guess work than a traditional 2D grid where you often run into problems in the edges/corners, especially in a field with a dense number of mines. It would be a game that is suitable for anyone of any age, as long as they can learn and understand the rules behind the logic puzzle. I started playing minesweeper at age 9, I guess you can pick and choose which people you want to introduce to it.

Base price is $2.99 USD, current launch sale is at an additional 10% off, so for people who are prepared to spend countless hours in this game, the price is totally reasonable. If you are unsure if you might like the game, go online and play some classic Minesweeper if that was never a part of your gaming past, and see if the logic puzzle is suitable for you. I did make a video that is linked above, but I just played and didn't really explain the rules of engagement.

Immediate Thoughts of Improvement
-Needs to have the controls be remappable or have the auto-clear function be given the option to be left+right click. The messing around with the classic controls is problematic.
-Old School theme needs better relief-appearance between the revealed and unrevealed tiles. Otherwise, playing on a cube setting and being off to the side makes it really difficult to see.
-It would be great to add the color-coding of the numbers as an option for each of the displayed themes to resemble the Old School theme. This shouldn't be too difficult and I know would please a lot of players.
-Sound settings need a little bit more player customization options.

Globesweeper is a great addition to a library for those of us who loved and spent countless hours with Minesweeper of yore. For those unfamiliar, this is also a good place to start. Of course there are many versions out there of the classic game that you can play still, but this game adds a bit more. At the price of a cup of coffee, you can enjoy the classic logic puzzle game with plenty of cool-looking themes and a wrap-around 3D grid that makes the game a lot less likely to require you to make guesses. Of course this will still happen, and it happened to me a few times as well. But that's the nature of these RNG puzzles, sometimes you get unlucky. I would totally and absolutely recommend this game.

I received the product for free. I did not receive any compensation to write this review. The opinions represented here are entirely my own and were not influenced in any way.
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Yitz Mar 2, 2019 @ 7:59pm 
nice review! Not the type of game I tend to enjoy, but your enthusiasm is contagious :cozyroe: