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Monster Sweeper

Mamono Sweeper employs a variation on the old Minesweeper game good enough to make it worth killing time and brain cells all over again.

Stealing the “leveling up” mechanic from RPGs, Mamono replaces the binary bomb/no bomb hazard with a multi-valued variable meant to represent different monsters offering different degrees of threat. When you click on an empty square, you learn not how many monsters are adjacent to that square, but rather the sum of those monsters’ levels. So a square labeled 6 might mean a single level-six demon, or three level-two goblins, or some other combination adding up to six. This complicates the process of deducing where the hazards are.

Fortunately, you can click on monsters safely—as long as your own level equals or exceeds the monster’s. And indeed you should, because this is how you earn “experience levels” of your own. You start at level one, of course, which allows you to kill only the lowly slimes. But once you kill a certain number of those, you reach second level, and can safely kill level two goblins, progressing through experience to being able to dispatch dragons, ninja, and even Satan himself. If you guess wrong, well…you take damage according to how badly the monster outclasses you. Accumulate enough damage, and it’s game over.

In some ways, the game is easier than traditional Minesweeper, although it’s much easier to miscalculate. One misstep doesn’t necessarily end the game however,, and you won’t have to take a blind guess at those isolated pockets that sometimes form toward the end of the game; you can freely clear out the whole board once you reach maximum level. Purists will insist on playing with out a single misstep. True purists can try the “blind” version of the game, in which you start at level zero, and dare not step on a single monster.

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