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But Which is the -Core- Mechanic?

Suggested By:

The name, and brief description, of Cluesweeper makes it sound dull and eminently forgettable: Minesweeper meets Clue. Boring.

But actually, it works pretty well. It's not really based on Clue(do); rather, clues provide a logic puzzle whereby you can exclude suspects.

Each level starts with one revealed square; the number indicates the number of adjacent clues. Unlike Minesweeper, you want to reveal these rather than avoid "mines", but you have a limited number of clicks to solve the level, so you want to "flag" non-clue squares as the Minesweeper logic makes them clear to avoid wasting clicks on them. This also avoids the basic problem of Minesweeper, in which you sometimes cannot determine a square's safety or lack thereof, and thereby lose randomly. Worst case here is you lose a click.

There is an equivalent flaw, however; when you run out of clicks, you are forced to make an accusation, and can still win by luck -- that is, the clues may not point clearly to anyone, but you might select the correct suspect at random from among those not already excluded. Needless to say, this kind of accusation would not stand up in court.

So... two conventional mechanics here, but tied together in an unexpected way, and actually fairly entertaining.


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Fun little time waster. Definitely more fun than mine sweeper.

I today encountered another

I today encountered another browser based twist on minesweeper. Check it out:

Great concept for a sleuthing game

I really enjoyed this combination of mechanics... minesweeper and logic puzzles, an unexpected but surprisingly natural fit. With the introduction of more complex statements (e.g. "Two suspects are afraid of the victim", "The Butler shares no traits with the Groom" as opposed to simply "blank is blank") it could become even more compelling.

One thing that was not immediately obvious (nor made explicit in any tutorial) is that each character had EXACTLY three traits, and that any trait not listed for a character is implicitly FALSE for that character. With that additional piece of information I always had enough information for every round. Before I understood that, I was forced into a few guessing situations (especially at the beginning, before I had any money to buy starting reveals).

The only other problem I saw was their reversal of the central minesweeper mechanics... I'd disagree with costik here, and say it creates more problems than it solves. The system punishes users for clicking on empty squares and rewarding them for clicking "mines"/clues, which led to many more unresolvable situations than traditional minesweeper, because it's the empty squares that hold all the information. The system allows you to "flag" empties, but often enough, once you do so, you don't have enough information to make a next logical choice, so you're forced back into random clicking. This might be mitigated if there was some sort of counter of the number of total clues remaining on the board.

This game has been great

This game has been great from day 1, but the best part is that he kept throwing huge improvements into the game over time as well. When it started out, it was only random puzzles of the same difficulty and then he later added in the story mode and so forth. This and Desktop Dungeons are really a model more games should follow: simple mechanics with a more complex level of puzzle behind them.

@Hantonisse: The fact that

@Hantonisse: The fact that you don't automatically lose when you click a wrong square is what makes it more forgiving than minesweeper. I'm not sure why you think that only the empty squares contain information about the board. Both clues and non-clues reveal how many adjacent squares contain clues.

Finally, telling you how many adjacent squares contain clues is the same as telling you how many adjacent squares don't contain clues. If you imagine that every square reads as 8 minus the number displayed, the game will play a lot more like traditional minesweeper, and perhaps you will see how the win conditions for this are MUCH kinder than the game it mirrors.


in case people are wondering (tough perhaps this is obvious, and I'm just so slow that it took me ~5 restarts) what is going on in that Japanese game is this:
when you click on a cell it tells you the sum of all LEVELS of monsters adjacent to it. (manatees are level 1, imps level 2, lizard-men 3, big-foots 4, and the dragon is level 5)
if you step on a monster of your own level (LV) it will die and you will get it's levels minus one power of 2 experience (EX) (so 1 exp for manatee, but 16 for a dragon), if you step on a higher level monster you get massive damage (2 if it's 1 level higher, 6 if 2 levels, 3 levels higher instakills), and you only have 10 HP, ever.
click on a defeated monster to see the sum of it's neighbors' levels (like a regular cell)
NE show how much expeience you need to get to next level.
I think you are supposed to clear the board to win, but I could never beat the game.
Have fun.

Clues remaining

"This might be mitigated if there was some sort of counter of the number of total clues remaining on the board."

But there is. When you click on the summary clues page, it tells you X/Y clues in the top corner. So you always know how many there are still to find. This is helpful when trying to gain some of the achievements, although they are all feasible without too much hassle.

As an interesting integration it works really nicely - I look forwards to the next iteration; perhaps with some "either/or" clues as well.

That Japanese game at

That Japanese game at is quite good. Autotranslate the page for some help: you can flag the squares with the level of the monster you think is there. Once you level up you can kill monsters at your level or lower. Needs some visual help though.