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Game Info:

Asteroids Minesweeper
Developed by: Francois Braud (Volatile Dove)
Published by: Francois Braud (Volatile Dove)
Released: July 8, 2016
Available on: Linux, Windows
Genre: Puzzle
ESRB Rating: Not rated
Number of players: Single player
Price: $1.99

*Advertising disclosure* Though Black Shell Media is a former advertising partner, this review is not influenced by that relationship.

Thank you, Black Shell Media, for providing us with a copy of this game to review!

Both Asteroids and Minesweeper are games that have been around for quite some time. In fact Minesweeper used to come automatically with the Windows operating system. So, is Asteroids Minesweeper a merger of both games? Actually, no – this game from Francois Braud has more in common with the classic Minesweeper than it does Asteroids.

For those unfamiliar with Minesweeper, the player is given a grid of squares, and hidden in the grid are several mines. Those squares that don't contain a mine typically reveal a number indicating how many of the surrounding squares contains a mine. By using logical deductions – and some luck – players can discover the location of all the mines... or get blown up in the process.

Asteroids Minesweeper
Highlights:

Strong Points: Interesting twist on a familiar classic; pleasant music; high replay value
Weak Points: Simplistic graphics; sometimes relies too much on luck
Moral Warnings: None!

Asteroids Minesweeper takes this premise to another dimension – the third dimension, to be precise. Instead of a grid of squares, the player is faced with a block of cubes. Some of the cubes will be labeled with a number, indicating how many of the surrounding cubes contain mines. The game can be used exclusively with the mouse, although keyboard shortcuts are available as well. The left mouse button allows you to maneuver the camera to look at the “asteroid” from different angles. The right mouse button allows you to remove blocks – but if you remove one with a mine, it will blow up on you! Clicking the middle mouse button allows you to defuse the mine in the cube. But if you click on a cube that doesn't have a mine, or right-click a cube that does have a mine, you will lose one of your “tries” for that level. If you lose all of your tries, you lose the puzzle.

The game is simple enough with the tutorial levels, but once the training wheels come off, all the levels are randomized. As a result, Asteroids Minesweeper often falls into the same trap as the original game; when you don't have enough information, sometimes the only thing you can do is click a square and hope it doesn't lead to your death. On the plus side, since each of the levels is randomized, the game has a lot of replay potential.

As you proceed through the game, different challenges can be unlocked, including an option where the mines move around. Altogether, there are 14 different challenges, not counting the tutorials, or the ability to design your own custom arrangements. But with the random nature of the puzzles, it's possible to play the same challenge repeatedly, and have a different game each time. Along with the different challenges, you also can unlock different textures for the “asteroid” and background colors.

Asteroids Minesweeper
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 74%
Gameplay - 15/20
Graphics - 5/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - 5/5

Morality Score - 100%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

The music to the game is quite relaxing and pleasant. The graphics are pretty simplistic, however – they are enough to display the data you need, but not terribly showy. Sound effects are minimalistic as well, with simple bleeps when defusing mines, the occasional rumbling sound, and an explosion noise when a mine is detonated. The controls work well and although there are keyboard shortcuts to possibly speed up the process of clearing away the asteroid, I found it works better to take your time and think about your approach. Just like with regular Minesweeper!

There is a story of sorts in the game, but it seems to lack substance and doesn't contribute much to this puzzle game. From a moral perspective, there really isn't anything to worry about. When a mine does detonate, it simply looks like a rapidly expanding red sphere. That's all there is to it!

Asteroids Minesweeper takes a classic game and makes it three-dimensional. Fans of the original game will find a lot to like in this variation. It only has 10 Steam achievements, but that isn't the draw to the game. At the low price of $1.99, it's a hard one to pass up for any fans of puzzle games.

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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