Shiokenstar’s Weblog

“The net is indeed vast and infinite”

Minesweeper: Ready, Set, Fail

Posted by shiokenstar on April 26, 2008

So, I’ll start things off by saying I like Minesweeper. It’s 80% logic and 20% luck, but it’s a great casual game to play while I’m waiting for a page to load, or my wireless internet card to connect. It’s not so much about getting fast times, although I am pleased/peeved whenever I break/come short of a personal best. Although I play mainly on my laptop, I do play a bit on the family computer, which runs Windows Vista. Now I really don’t care what other people say about Vista, its ok if you ask me. The only issue I have with it is that it doesn’t seem to understand that I want to write files to a blank disc and instead tries to format the disc into something similar to a flashdrive. This process never works. Period.

Now anyways, the casual games that come with a computer, Solitaire, Minesweeper, Freecell, Spider Solitaire and etc are here too, but with upgraded Vista shiny aesthetics. However, somebody decided that it would be a good idea to record how many times you’ve played each game and how many times you’ve actually won. This pisses me off. I like the idea of jumping into Minesweeper, and just playing. Same with Solitaire really. But no, now my every move and failure is recorded each time I play. It gets irritating. On expert level of Minesweeper, you have to be lucky to click the first square and get a decent amount of space to work with. Sometimes you can go through 5-8 rounds of expert level before you get some wiggle room to actually start solving the field. So think about it for a second. 5-8 tries to even start to play. Then, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win since there’s almost always a situation where you cannot use logic to guess at which square is the mine. I cannot count the number of times I have lost when there was only 1 mine left, and two squares to pick from. As such, my win-to-lose rate is very, very abominable, but the fact that there isn’t a lasting impression on the loss, I can easily start a new round if I’m up for it.

However, with Windows Vista and its statistics, I practically never play expert level anymore. I can’t break the single digit win percentage, and I don’t plan on trying since it takes 5-8 loses to even start a chance to win. But I’m a Minesweeper junkie, haha. Curse you Mark Ding, you’ve infected me! So whenever I’m on the family computer, I play intermediate mode. It is infinitely easier than expert, but every now and again you make a mistake due to confidence or those guessing situations.

What I like doing on the family computer in trying to up my win percentage. So I’ve gotten to 100 games played on intermediate level of Minesweeper. 53 wins. A decent score. But, Vista tells me my win percentage is 52. 52%. Vista says, 53/100 = 52%. Goddamnit. You know, I have a 100% win percentage on beginner mode? Yeah thats right, 100%. How many games? Like, 7. I’m scared of playing beginner since I don’t wanna ruin the win rate. I decided to try bringing the intermediate rate up since way back at like, game 60 or something. But it’s a pain in the rear end when you have to win like, 3 games in a row to up your percentage by 1. And a loss will either drop you a percent or reset your attempts to bring it up. The least Vista could do for screwing my (possible?) OCD is give me a damn accurate reading. But nooooo, 53/100 is .52 to Vista. Little punks. But I can’t stop playing. <.<

Timestamp – 12:08AM


4 Responses to “Minesweeper: Ready, Set, Fail”

  1. Matt Pillar said

    A subjective look suggests an average game requires 3 50/50 guesses, yielding a 12.5 % success rate. I have been hovering app 14 lately. Look past a wall with one gap to see if any squares can be cleared.

  2. David said

    I have a 29% success rate on Expert, over about 3,000 games. When you play Expert a lot, you start to learn some new patterns that help you solve situations you previously thought were unsolvable (requiring a random guess). For example, when you get close to the end and are left with 10ish unsolved squares, try looking at the count of remaining mines. Often you can use the question mark flags to account for all the remaining mines; then you know anything without a question mark flag isn’t a mine. Usually this technique (when it works at all) only allows you to click 1 or 2 more squares, but often that’s enough to give you the extra information you needed to solve the rest of the board.

    • Matt R said

      I also have a 29% win rate on expert mode over 750+ games. This might be a fundamental average, though we would need either more data or a rigorous proof to confirm it.

  3. Darren said

    29%? That’s ridiculous-ly good. I feel like I would get at least one out of ten if that rate was possible. What’s that an average of 2 50/50 per game? What’s the secret? Anyway, I wonder if anyone has done the mathematics behind the chances of success in intermediate and expert. How would that be done, I want to know if my 60% in intermediate (over 1300 games) is decent or not? What goal should I be going for?

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