Kaboom, the “cruel, but fair” Minesweeper variant

I recently stumbled across “Kaboom” which is a really interesting take on the classic Minesweeper. Rather than the board being set up randomly, the game plays antagonistically against you. That is, based on what you’ve revealed so far, if you click to reveal a space that could have a mine on it, it does have a mine on it. The exception (making it winnable) is that if you have cleared all spaces where you could infer with certainty from what’s revealed that there isn’t a mine there (that is, you’re forced to guess), then your guess is guaranteed to be safe.

It turns out there aren’t nearly as many scenarios where you’re forced to guess as I would have thought. It turns Minesweeper from being a little time-waster with some logical deduction into being completely based on logical deduction. That is, every game is winnable, and the only way to lose is if you haven’t cleared all possible-to-have-known-were-empty spaces before moving on to might-be-empty spaces.

I’m now curious if there were other classic games you could do this kind of idea with.

Jelly no Puzzle

I have less time for video gaming than I used to, as I have kids and all, so I’ve been really enjoying puzzle sorts of games. As much as I love sweeping RPGs with tens of hours of plot, it’s a lot easier for me to spend 10–30 minutes here and there on a puzzle or two. That’s part of why I liked Braid, which I recommended when I last posted a year ago (yipes!), and it’s the same way I’ve been really enjoying Jelly no Puzzle. I finally finished it today, and I think it’s taken me months of picking it up off and on for a few minutes at a time.

It is incredibly difficult to solve each puzzle, yet the game has very simple mechanics. Each and every level requires you to think in a new way. It’s a perfect way to unwind, if you like impossibly difficult puzzles, and I highly recommend it.


Braid is an awesome work of art and game. I know it’s a few years old at this point, but I don’t have the time for much gaming nowadays. But Braid has been on my radar basically since it came out. It made me want to buy a 360, though eventually it came out for PC, and I played the demo and loved it. A couple weeks ago, I finally bought it. It’s the perfect kind of game for me, since I can play for just a few minutes at a time, solve one puzzle, and put it on hold until I next get a few minutes.

I have now completed it (in the sense of getting all the puzzle pieces and getting through the ending), though I wouldn’t say that I’ve beaten it. The plot is… a fascinating statement that I haven’t completely worked though yet. The gameplay is astoundingly good.

Please, no spoilers here. Of any sort whatsoever. Thank you.