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A short while back, Babaroga updated their free, ad-supported Minesweeper and Sudoku Xbox Live games. At last we’ve got the details for both updates to share with you.

Minesweeper version 1.2 and Sudoku version 1.3 release notes

  • Added Fast App Switching support
  • Increased the maximum number of tokens players can earn to 110
  • Switched ads around based on user feedback
  • Minesweeper: Fixed a bug that stopped players from earning more time when resuming Speed games
  • Various bug fixes

Nothing major there, but Fast App Switching is always appreciated (especially if you’re cheating at Sudoku). The new token limit allows players to use powerups more freely, highlighting the unique powerup feature these games have while making the game a bit easier to boot. Gamers now have even less excuse not to earn each title’s 50 GamerScore of Achievements.

You can pick up Minesweeper here and Sudoku here on the Marketplace.

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Minesweeper - Review

Minesweeper as we know it was created in 1990 and has been bundled with every new version of Windows since 1992. The mobile Xbox Live version, developed by Babaroga and published by Microsoft, is one of the first two free ad-supported games for Xbox Live and the first to be available in regions outside of North America. This game shares much in common with its fellow free game Sudoku, though the actual gameplay is completely different, with a much higher learning curve. Get past that and you’ll find an enjoyable logic puzzle game.

Step carefully over the mines and past the break for our full review.

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Xbox Live: Minesweeper updated, sheds excess mines

When Microsoft published their free Xbox Live version of Minesweeper in August, we were all happy to get a free game. However, we noticed something was up with it. Namely, there were so many mines that you couldn’t solve the puzzles properly! Minesweeper’s supposed to be challenging, but not like that. I resolved to stop playing it until an update came out.

Thankfully, Microsoft and developer Babaroga took notice of these problems as well. Today they issued an update corrects the difficulty issues, but it’s not a traditional update. Minesweeper’s control data is stored as an XML file on a Microsoft server. This allows the developers to make adjustments to the game without the need for a patch. When gamers launch the game while connected to the internet, it checks for the updated XML file and updates accordingly.

Today’s Minesweeper changes include:

Classic mode

  • Intermediate:
    Mines reduced from 36 to 24
    Experience reward increased from 150 to 200
  • Advanced:
    Mines reduced from 76 to 60
    Experience increased from 250 to 300

Speed mode

  • Beginner:
    Mines reduced from 15 to 12
    Experience increased from 150 to 200
  • Intermediate:
    Mines reduced from 40 to 24
    Experience increased from 200 to 300
  • Advanced:
    Experience increased from 300 to 400

To update your game, launch the game while connected to the internet. You may need to load up the Leaderboards and/or restart the game for the changes to take effect. You’ll know it worked when the mines listed on the difficulty selection pages match the new values.

It’s amazing what a difference a few less mines can make. Previously, it took me over 100 tries to complete an Intermediate puzzle. Post-update, I finished one on my first try. This dramatically improves the game and makes the Achievements much easier too. Look forward to our full review soon.

Minesweeper is free on Xbox Live. Get it here (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

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Remember kids, there is no Xbox Live release in the US this week. Not a common circumstance, and hopefully the last time it occurs. The rest of the world, however, gets Babaroga’s Minesweeper, which was already released in the US a couple of weeks ago. It’s a free, ad-supported game. See my previous post on Minesweeper for details on how unfortunately busted it is.

No new games to play this week? Perhaps Super Monkey Ball from Sega will soothe your troubled soul. It’s the Xbox Live Deal of the Week with a sale price of $1.99. Mr. Cranky Pants is even less fond of this version of Super Monkey Ball, but let's just leave our review to do the talking.

Minesweeper is available here (Zune link) on the Marketplace and it costs nothing. Super Monkey Ball is on sale for $1.99 for one week only. Roll over here to get it.

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When Minesweeper and Sudoku, two free Xbox Live games developed by Babaroga and published by Microsoft, were released only in the US a few weeks ago, our foreign readers were understandably displeased. We speculated that it might have been because of the games’ reliance on in-game advertisements, which may not have been cleared for other markets yet.

Good news then, as Minesweeper is coming to foreign markets on Wednesday. Well, sort of good news. Minesweeper is actually pretty busted on the highest two difficulties, filling levels with so many mines that they’re impossible to clear without repeated use of the EMP powerup. Babaroga tells us this may be fixed in the future, but for now it seriously hampers the fun.

Minesweeper can be downloaded here (Zune link). No news yet about when Sudoku will be released outside of the US, but we’ll keep you posted. We’ll have reviews of both games very soon.

Thanks to Professeur Thibault for the tip!

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Minesweeper and Sudoko stirring up a storm

Sudoku and Minesweeper seems to be causing a bit of a stir. The two Windows Phone Xbox Live titles are now available over at the Marketplace (for free) but for some reason Microsoft limited the release to the U.S. Market only.

We received a small sampling of the ill feelings from our International readers the other day about this restriction but over at the Windows Blog, Microsoft seems to be taking it on the chin.  Here are a few of the comments that basically sum up the feeling of those readers.

"At some point the WP team is going to need to realize there are places outside the USA. So many missing features / USA only apps." -Freypal

"This just confirmed the fact that to the rest of the world Microsoft is just showing us a "big middle finger"."-K.Rawlins

"With all due respect, this "US Only" thing is getting old real fast. I am a US citizen, but I'm not sure why Microsoft loves screwing over the rest of the world."-Cylon Centurion

Michael Stroh penned the post over at the Windows Phone Blog and appeared to be as surprised as we were to learn these titles were "U.S. Only". Stroh would later learn that there are no plans to introduce these two games elsewhere and promised to make sure the Xbox Live team was aware of the ill feelings.

Now here's a question (actually two) for our readers. Is the irritation from not being able to play Minesweeper or Sudoku? Or is more over the principle of things? If it's the latter, I never knew Minesweeper had such a following.

Personally, I think unless an app has regional content that wouldn't make sense anywhere else, every Marketplace app should be available system wide. I can understand Bing Get Me There being only useful in London because I don't have any Tube Stations in Alabama.

But games? Come on, make them available world wide. Obviously you've got some language issues to tackle but the rewards will surely out weigh the cost.  Feel free to chime in with your thoughts. Maybe the Xbox Live team visits our blog as well.

Source: Windowsteamblog

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Tired of playing Flowerz, penniless Windows Phone Xbox Live gamers? Then today’s your day! Minesweeper and Sudoku are both on the marketplace costing nothing at all.

Minesweeper and its kid brother/dance partner Sudoku are the games many of us know and love, but they do include some fancy new additions to get the cerebral juices flowing. There’s the snazzy/maybe a little plain Metro UI design, a leveling system, and powerups that can ease the pain of challenging levels. To learn more about the powerup system and future plans for these titles, check out our mini-interview with Babaroga, the developer. Both games are free and ad supported, so their Achievements are only worth 50 GamerScore a piece - 150 less than a standard Xbox Live title. But hey, free GamerScore is free GamerScore, so let’s not get bogged down with numbers.

Logic puzzle loving gamers can find Minesweeper here (Zune link) and Sudoku here on the Marketplace.

Update: Games only available in the U.S. as of now, may show up in other regions later. Maybe not.

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Minesweeper and Sudoku Mini-Interview

At WPCentral, we’re big fans of Babaroga, makers of the unique Xbox Live game Zombies!!! Last week we revealed that Babaroga’s Minesweeper and Sudoku are both coming to Xbox Live as free, ad-supported games. Naturally the Windows Phone gaming community has a ton of interest in these two titles. So today we bring you this mini-interview with Andreja Djokovic, Babaroga CEO and Founder that delves deeper into their twists on two classic games.

Head past the break for the full interview.

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Next week, two new Xbox Live games are coming to the Marketplace! That hasn’t happened in ages. Even more unusual, both games will be free. The ‘official’ Minesweeper and Sudoku apps come to Windows Phone courtesy of developer Babaroga, who we interviewed back in June, and Microsoft Game Studios.

Head past the break for our exclusive first screenshots of the two games and lots of details!

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Following on the heels of OMG: Our Manic Game comes Game Chest: Logic Games, the new Xbox Live Deal of the Week. It’s down to $1.99 from the regular price of $2.99.

Logic Games contains three distinct games: chess, minesweeper, and Sudoku. Each game comes in easy, normal, and hard varieties. Chess is the star of the bunch in that it offers a weird invite-a-friend-on-PC to play option. It’s an interesting workaround to the prohibition against online play, but the invitation method is so slow and clunky, I doubt many people will use it except to earn the associated Achievement. This version of chess has no customizable settings and no local multi-player option - a glaring oversight.

Minesweeper is a love-or-hate it game. I’m sure many people out there have tried it on one platform or another, died in the first move or two, and called it quits. But I’ve always found the act of deducing which spots are safe and which have bombs to be quite enjoyable. This version’s controls could be better – I sometimes set off a bomb when I was trying to zoom in and out on the higher difficulties. Easy and Normal are good ways to kill time though.

Sudoku is a highly competent version of the Japanese puzzle game. The only video game version of Sudoku I’ve ever found truly addicting is the version Nintendo included in the Brain Age DS games. In Brain Age, gamers can select individual puzzles instead of being assigned random puzzles, and then try to beat their best times. Logic Games’ Sudoku lacks those two elements, but completing random puzzles is still decently fun.

Our review praises the Game Chest games’ progression system. Each time you complete a game, you’ll earn points. Gain enough points and you’ll level up. It takes absolutely forever to level up after a while though, making it a real chore to go for the Achievements for reaching maximum level in each game.

If you like two or more of the games included in Game Chest: Logic Games, it’s a logical purchase. The game is $1.99 for one week only. Pick it up here in the Marketplace.

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Game Chest: Logic Games - Review

Tactical thinkers and strategists rejoice! Chess, sudoku, and even Minesweeper are here in the second installment of the Game Chest series from Microsoft Game Studios. Game Chest: Logic Games classes up the place and throws down the proverbial gauntlet. Following suit with it's card-based counterpart, this Game Chest bursts open with exceptionally well polished graphics and an atmosphere a class above any other thinking person's game has delivered before.

The mood set by the music and in-game menu is one of sublime problem-solving perfection...

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