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 (opens in new tab) (Zune link) on the Marketplace.

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • This was not necessary. I thought it was easy once you get enough points to use the power ups.
  • Minesweeper doesn't traditionally use powerups. Most of us would agree that any minesweeper puzzle should be solvable without the need for powerups, and Advanced puzzles most definitely were not solvable without them before.Also, the developers used analytics to determine that puzzles were taking users far too many retries in order to complete.
  • shouldn't need powerups to beat a level, they should be used to beat it faster / make it easier for newbs. When you have a puzzle and run into 5 simultaneous dead ends and HAVE to use the power ups...something went wrong.
  • Sure, after I've beat every difficulty on both classic and speed mode they go and make it easier! And I didn't get my "The world is safe... for now" achievement either for some reason. Am I talking about Minesweeper or WoW?
  • No reduction on the number of mines for the Advanced Speed Mode? I couldn't care less about the XP, I just want to be able to beat the game.
  • Man, I'm so happy about this update. Jumped straight into the Intermediate modes for both classic and speed mode and beat them on my first try. Granted, on my first game, the last move ended up being a 50/50, but that's expected at least. Previously, I just kept failing for about 5-8 tries to no avail.