Developer: Jan Kovac
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.0.3
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★½☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Playtime Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★★☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

“It’d be great if the process of uncovering explosive mines was a bit more dangerous and stressful,” said no-one, ever. Regardless, we have Minerollr by Jan Kovac.

Minerollr adds a simple but clever variation to the classic Minesweeper game board: constant movement. The basic rules still apply: players click squares on a digital minefield, some of which are harmless and some of which are armed with mines. Hints to the mines’ locations are delivered via numbers that indicate how many mines potentially surround an unexplored square.

Minesweeper is a bit of a nerve-wracking game on its own, since even an expert number-reader may misjudge a mine’s exact location. Minerollr kicks things up a notch by plunking players on a huge game board that’s constantly scrolling upwards. If an uncovered square that contains a mine is pushed off the screen, the player is golden. If, however, an uncovered square turns out to be unarmed after it hits the bottom of the screen, the game is over.

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Oh, and the whole thing still goes “kaboom” if an armed square is triggered, of course.

Classic Minesweeper is a divisive game. Some folks can’t get the hang of it even on the lowest difficulty setting. I’ll go ahead and admit I’m very untalented at Minesweeper, but I still admire what Minerollr and Kovac have done with the formula. The addition of a moving minefield forces players to think quickly. Suddenly there aren’t only mines to deal with – there’s a creeping time limit as well.

Minesweeper experts (surely they’re out there, frolicking just out of mortal sight with elves and unicorns) will love the added dash of challenge and additional layer of nervous sweat that Minerollr provides. Those of us that try our best but still wind up failing again and again might be better off watching a more competent player match wits against the game.


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