With the title update for Minesweeper (W8), there are 3 sets of achievements/game modes to work on. They are the following:
- Adventure Mode
- Classic Mode (Plain Minesweeper)
- Daily/Challenge Mode
There are 16 achievements to collect and are broken up as follows:
- Adventure Mode - 5 Achievements
- Classic Mode - 4 Achievements
- Challenge Mode - 7 Achievements
The remainder of the guide is broken up into these 3 sections and how to approach the achievements.
Adventure Mode is a replica of Microsoft Treasure Hunt (that technically came out before Treasure Hunt). It plays just like Minesweeper, but your ability to flag and reveal squares is limited by the ability of the character to reach a square rather than the mouse clicks. Using a mouse, left click controls the movement of the character while right clicks place flags in a manner similar to classic minesweeper. If you left click a square of dirt, you will open that square. If a square does not have numbers near it, it will automatically disappear when you approach it.
Some general tips to playing levels:
- First things first is to explain the items along the bottom line
- Hearts - Number of hits you can take before "dying" and needing to start from Level 1. If you hit 0 Hearts, it is Game Over
- Shields - A secondary source of health. These are depleted first when taking damage from traps
- Keys - Used to open doors. In general, there are enough keys to open each door on a floor. As a result, you should aim to open every door on every level in order to minimize the grind for the 100 doors achievement
- Arrows - Clicking on an enemy while you have an arrow will kill the enemy and use one arrow. The machete item (random find) allows you to kill all enemies on the floor with it. There should be enough arrows on a floor to kill all the enemies. Try to kill all the enemies on each floor as that will minimize the grind later.
- Pickaxes - Pickaxes will open up a bunch of squares in a 3x3 pattern around where you are. Traps and items will be revealed, but you won't take any damage in the process.
- Dynamite - Blows up all the squares around you. This can be used to destroy walls, enemies, as well as reveal squares in a similar manner to the pickaxe
- Maps - Reveals the placement of mines in a 7x7 grid around.
- Lucky Clover - Rare find that doubles all gold you collect for the level you are on.
- Hearts, Shields, Pickaxes, Dynamite, and Maps carry over between levels. Weapons, keys, and lucky clover resets to 0 on each level.
- Be careful of where/when you click. If you click a tile in the middle of a bunch of dirt with no direct path already created, your character will try to find a way and might trigger a trap as a result.
With that, here is the order I believe you will/should unlock the achievements.
Completing the first level of Adventure Mode will earn you this achievement.
As you proceed through the levels, collect all the gold you can. Eventually, you will reach 10,000 gold. Technically, you can wait until later levels and the gold amounts will be much higher as well. By the time you reach the exit on Level 21, you will be able to get close to 10,000 gold in a single level realistically.
Continue completing levels until you eventually get through Level 20. The only major difference between levels as you go is the size of the maps/stuff on them. Therefore, you will want to aim to save and build up your inventory. Some of the later maps will have mine placements where you won't be able to see where to place a flag safely. Having a reserve of pickaxes/maps/dynamite will make getting through these sections much quicker/safer. Worst case, you might need to sacrifice a shield or heart to find the path.
Once you complete Level 21, you will likely not have reach 100 doors opened/100 enemies killed. The achievements are cumulative, so don't worry about if you die and need to start from Level 1 again. There is a tradeoff while going for these last two achievements for Adventure Mode. Locked doors and Monsters are random, but are more likely on later levels. Therefore, it would be advisable to continue from Level 20 and continuing grinding this achievement out. The only reason to die and go back to Level 1 would be to get back to easier level placement. Eventually, you will reach 100 kills and 100 doors and will finish Adventure Mode.
For the Classic Mode portion of the new achievements, this should not take too long if you're familiar with Minesweeper in general. First up will be "Flag Happy." Select a new easy 9x9 game. Right click on every square to have all squares "flagged."
Next up we should look for Serious Business. This one has had conflicting reports on whether it unlocks on custom/replayed boards. Therefore, the suggested method is to choose an Expert 30x16 Board. Play regularly, and hopefully, you'll find a 6 or 7 square in your game. This achievement is slightly luck based as no board (even on Expert) is guaranteed to give you a 6+ tile. When you uncover a 6 or 7, you will unlock:
The last two "new" achievements for Classic Mode require quickly solving a common pattern seen in Minesweeper puzzles. They are the following:
1 2 1
1 2 2 1
First up, the 1 2 1 achievement. For this one, you just need to click the square right next to the 2 square. The best way to get the 20 times is the following:
- Start a new game, Medium 16x16 should be sufficient.
- Click any square around the middle of the board, this will likely reveal a large zone
- If you see a 1 2 1 sequence, click the middle square (this will get you your first of these). If you don't see it, the start a new game with a new board
- Either click a mine and play the same board again or restart on the same board.
- Rinse and repeat to get your 20 and unlock ...
For the 1 2 2 1 achievement, we will follow a similar process. Usually, this pattern solves with the mines being next to the 2's while the 1's are safe. You need to click the 2 safe squares to get this one to count. This method is not foolproof, as it is possible the 2's do not have the mines. The general process is the following:
- Start a new game, Medium 16x16 should be sufficient
- Click any square around the middle of the board, this will likely reveal a large zone
- If you see a 1 2 2 1 sequence, click the squares next to the 1's. If this pattern does not appear, then start a new game with a new board
- If the sequence was correct with the 1's being safe, then either fail/restart the board again. If the board pattern was not, then start a new board a try step 3 again till it works.
- Rinse and repeat to get your 20 successes and earn ...
This finishes Classic Mode and only leaves us with the long drawn out Challenge Mode
Challenge Mode is the standard game mode being introduced in all of the Microsoft Casual Games (or at least most of them). The formula is that every day of the month, there are 3 new challenges, ranging in difficulty from Easy to Expert (Easy, Medium, Hard, Expert). Over the course of the month, you aim to complete as many challenges as possible to unlock various badges. The breakdown of earning coins is the following:
- Easy - 100 coins
- Medium - 150 coins
- Hard - 200 coins
- Expert - 300 coins
- Complete all 3 Challenges for a Day - 150 Bonus coins
In terms of the challenges themselves, we have fives types of games to look at. They are the following:
- Classic - Clear the board without triggering more than X mines. Traditional game of minesweeper, but you are given a little leeway that allows a couple of mines to be detonated and you can still complete the challenge
- Taps - Tap X number of squares while not detonating more than Y mines. You are not allowed to Flag squares in this challenge.
- Treasure Hunt - Find and click a square on the board surrounded by Mines. You are given a few mine clicks so you can mess up a few times.
- Detonation - You actually aim to click on mines. You are given X clicks to detonate Y mines
- Flags - You must flag X mines on the board. You are unable to click and reveal tiles in this game type
As for strategy, I'll keep this short and to the point for each mode before finally getting into the achievements:
- Classic - Besides Expert and Hard modes, these should be really straightforward at this point. For Hard and Expert modes, use the lives (free misses) you are given. For the most part, logic will be able to get you all the tiles revealed and mines flagged. The moments when there isn't a logical answer, you really will be taking a guess and possibly losing one of your free misses. Expert likely will have a clock on it, but there should be plenty of time to finish the board.
- Taps - For this game type, you are usually given a free tap to start that reveals part of the board. From there, mentally flag the board and figure out where your taps are. If you are completely lost in this game mode, there is a simple strategy that works the majority of the time. There will likely be a few free 1's on the board. Since there is only one mine near it, you can usually get 5 free clicks (or 7, it depends on the placement of the one and how willing you are to risk hitting a mine near the 1). You likely have a few misses allowed in this mode as well, so blind guessing around the 1's will likely work enough to win if you're having trouble.
- Treasure Hunt - This game plays just like Classic for the most part. What you are looking for is a ring of mines. Usually, once you find 4 mines to start the pattern, you can assume the treasure is right in the center there. For example, in the below text, if you find the 4 X's as mines, the Treasure will very likely be in the center at the T. If you want to play safely, you can reveal and confirm that the remaining ?'s are also mines, but if you get 4 or 5 mines in the circle, you likely have found the location of the treasure. This game mode is less difficult but turns into a long grind because the grid is usually larger, and there are no easy strategies to guarantee where the treasure is located.
X X ?
X T ?
X ? ?
- Detonation - Personal favorite. You will likely need to waste a click or two in order to find where the mines are to begin with. The initial layout of the revealed squares does not provide a guaranteed mine spot. Best thing you can do is look for a cluster of revealed squares and find a mine. Once you start revealing mines, you can continue clicking mines much easier as each detonation reveals more of the board. You have plenty of extra clicks to use, but if you have a poor start using most of the buffer, consider restarting.
- Flags - This is the least forgiving as your flag placement needs to be correct (no free misses/mistakes given). You will be tasked with flagging X mines on the board. this is purely a logic puzzle. Along the edges, look for lower numbers that can actually have all squares around them filled. In the middle of the board, you will likely see the places you can place a mine. If you are struggling with finding the mines, there is usually a 6 or 7 on the board. If you feel lucky, you can usually get 3 or 4 around them and have a high success rate. This is a last ditch strategy if you're stuck, but in general, you should be able to find enough mines to succeed.
With all this background completed, now on to the achievements!
First up, start you first challenge and you'll unlock.
Complete your first challenge and you'll unlock this. If you're struggling, go after an easy one and you should have no trouble unlocking this.
These next two are seemingly easy, but require some dedication and careful execution as they are slightly buggy. You need to play 5 days in a row and everyday for an entire month. The best way to do this is follow these steps:
- At the beginning of a month, play and complete at least 1 challenge for that day.
- Close the app completely after completion
- Open the app the next day and repeat the previous two steps.
It appears the bug results from the clock in the game not recognizing the day change always even though the challenges for the next day open up. By closing the app and reopening for each day, this appears to negate the problem from appearing.
After 5 days of this, you will unlock.
After a full month of this, you will finally unlock.
The last 3 achievements for the title update will also take the longest. This is a year-long journey to complete. We are looking to get Bronze, Silver, and Gold badges. The requirements for these badges are the following:
- Bronze - 2,000 Coins
- Silver - 5,000 Coins
- Gold - 10,000 Coins
There is no need to go after the Diamond or Perfect badges for these achievements. As a result, there is plenty of leeway over the course of the month as you go for a Gold Badge. In other words, if you are having trouble with a particular Hard or Expert Challenge, you can skip it and still earn the Gold Badge. In terms of how many days each month requires to get to each level, here is a quick estimate.
- On average, each day will likely have 1 Easy, 1 Medium, and 1 Hard Challenge (there is an obvious variation to this, but stick with me here for estimate purposes)
- This gives you 100 + 150 + 200 + 150 (bonus) = 600 coins per day
- 2,000 / 600 = 4 days to reach Bronze badge
- 5,000 / 600 = 9 days to reach Silver badge
- 10,000 / 600 = 17 days to reach Gold badge
Based on this information, you can really miss a lot of coins each month and still reach every goal. The best way to go about completing the achievements is to start off going for Gold for 8 straight months. This will get you:
For the next 2 months, go for Silver and finish this achievement:
Finally, for another 2 months, reach the Bronze badge and unlock:
At this point, you should now have the full 200 GS and all 20 achievements for Microsoft Minesweeper. Congratulations!
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