The player's goal in Minesweeper is to clear all of the mine-free squares on the board and flag all of the mines. To uncover concealed tiles, left-click your mouse. Use the numbers you uncover to locate the mines: each number indicates how many of the surrounding eight tiles (up/down, left/right, or diagonal) are mines. Once you've located a mine, right-click to plant a flag there. How quickly can you empty the board?
When you first start playing Minesweeper, you must choose a square at random. Your first square will never be a mine, but there is no way of knowing whether it will be blank or numbered. However, it is ideal to begin towards the middle of the board, since if you choose a tile near a corner, you are more likely to be stranded with no suitable movements early in the game. Having said that, since you're being timed, it's better to simply choose a square and get started. After clicking on your first square, you will be able to make more informed decisions.
When a 1 only touches one uncleared tile, it must be a mine. This holds true for 2, 3, and so forth. Of course, this seems apparent, but if you get stuck, search around the board for examples of this that you may have missed! After opening up a new region of the board, it's incredibly simple to work in one way and forget to look in other directions.
The more you play Minesweeper, the more patterns you'll see. For example, if you have a row of numbers that run 1-2-1 and the squares at the top and bottom are cleared, you know you should flag the two squares adjacent to the two 1s, regardless of what numbers are next to the 1s on either side (even if there is an unchecked square!). This is due to the fact that there cannot be a mine next to the 2, since there would be no other location to put the second mine. Similarly, if you have a row of numbers that runs 1-2-2-1 and is obviously above or below, the mines must be adjacent to the 2s, regardless of what is on the other side of the 1s from the 2s. There are plenty more patterns to be discovered while you play!
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