Minesweeper Genius is a real neat small puzzle game loosely based on Minesweeper. It includes picross-like mechanics where you know how many ‘bombs’ there are in a row and a column. I completed the whole game since I liked it so much and while I thought there was something weird about the progression and the special tiles were a bit too similar in many ways, I had a ton of fun and the music was stuck in my head for ages while I was playing it.
The core concept of the game is simple, you select levels on a map and must solve each of them by moving your character from point A to point B. You know how many mines there are on each lines or columns - and after a while you know how many there are around a certain point - so you just go through the levels. You can place flags to help mark where you think these mines are and a counter at the bottom of the screen will help you figure out if you marked them all. The map structure is a bit weird since the levels are semi random. They seem to have specific rules generating them, but otherwise they are never the same, I found it a bit weird how you move through various levels when they all could be the same one.
With the stars you get from completing levels perfectly, you unlock advanced levels which take the same mechanics as the current world you’re in and put them in larger, more complex levels. In theory I enjoy the idea of getting a perfect score on levels, but in practice it just meant that I reset the stage when I got a single error, why would I keep playing anyways? The game never gets -too- difficult since you always have all the information you need, but like Picross and Minesweeper, you need to make some leaps of logic sometimes to figure where the mines are. The special tiles make things easier in some ways since you know you have to hit them all to continue. They do a few things like jumping over some tiles and moving rows/columns around, which I feel like 3 types of special tiles do and I never was really sure what the difference was. Some of the best levels were the very large ones and it really was satisfying to figure out the perfect path and fill all the other tiles with flags.
I really enjoyed Minesweeper Genius! If you like puzzle games (Picross especially) I wholeheartedly recommend it to you. I went through the whole thing and didn’t put it down before it was over, even if that took a few days!