When Minesweeper Met Minecraft, a Gaming App Love StoryS

Mine: To extract ore or minerals from the earth. Mine: An explosive device used to destroy enemy personnel, shipping, fortifications, or equipment. Minecraft Sweeper: An explosive Android app about extracting ore and minerals from the earth used to destroy any free time you might have accumulated.

Developer K.Misiunas has taken two of the most beloved and addictive titles in the history of gaming and married them together in one startlingly fresh handheld experience. What sounds like nothing more than clever wordplay is in actuality one of the best iterations of gaming classic Minesweeper that I've ever played, much deeper than the simple Minecraft overlay I was expecting.

In keeping with the headline theme I attempted to come up with a situation where Minesweeper sat across the table from Minecraft in a New York deli enthusiastically faking an orgasm, but I just couldn't do it. Minecraft Sweeper's orgasms are never faked.

If you're looking for the purest Minesweeper experience you can always stick to Minecraft Sweeper's Classic mode, in which you have but one life to give for your resource gathering. Use the numbers to calculate the chances of a Creeper, Zombie, or Lava lurking underneath adjacent squares, marking danger with torches until all of the minerals are completed. It's good old-fashioned Minesweeper fun, but the real joy of this bizarre amalgamation is Adventure mode.

Adventure mode begins like every game of Minesweeper has begun since its early origins as a mainframe game in the 60s and 70s; the agonizing blind touch with the hope that a large chunk of the board will be revealed. Unlike the original game, however, in Minecraft Sweeper's Adventure mode you've got four lives to burn through, so fingering a Creeper isn't necessary the end of the world.

There's also a "with food" option for Adventure mode, which hides life-replenishing meat underneath certain squares. This is especially handy when playing on one of the game's randomly-generated Infinite playfields, which truly live up to the name. I've never spent a half-hour on a single Minesweeper board. Much of that may have been spent fretting over which block to guess in a field filled with large numbers, but my brain probably needed the exercise.

Somme folks (Minecraft players especially) might look at Minecraft Sweeper and dismiss it as nothing but an unabashed attempt to make a quick buck off of the success of Mojang's indie sandbox sensation. To those people I point out that the game is available on the Android Market for the low, low, cost of free, so no quick buck is being made. This is a labor of love, sweet love.

Simple, elegant, and infinitely engrossing, Minecraft Sweeper marries two game concepts together so completely you'll want to throw rice as they duck into the limo, tears of joy streaming down your face. Don't they look happy together?

Minecraft Sweeper [Android Market]