Mamono Sweeper


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Rating: 4.8/5 (324 votes)
| Comments (46) | Views (429)

KyleMamono SweeperHey buddy. Watcha doin? Playing a little Minesweeper instead of doing those TPS reports like the boss asked? Hey, relax, I won't tell the boss, I swear. I just gotta ask, Minesweeper? Really? That's so nineties. I mean, come on, what's next? You're gonna start wearing your clothes backward (again)? Pump up basketball shoes? Look, before you try to bring back the slap bracelet and Limp Bizkit let me introduce you to the puzzle/strategy game, Mamono Sweeper from Homajaka Games. It's like Minesweeper for people who've heard of MP3 players.

Mamono Sweeper is very similar to its ancient ancestor with some key differences. The first is that instead of bombs concealed behind anonymous tiles, you're sweeping for monsters. And you can't just avoid them, eventually you're going to have to reveal and kill all of the monsters on the board if you want to win. This is where you run into another twist that Mamono throws into the mix. Each monster has its own level. If your experience level is equal or greater to a monster, than you can click that monster without fear of taking on damage. Be careful, though, because if you click on a monster that is a higher level than you, he'll take some of your precious few hit points, or if the monster's high enough in level, it will kill you outright. Thankfully, every time you kill a monster without dying, you earn experience points. Pick up enough of those, and you'll advance to the next level letting you kill more monsters safely.

Which brings me to the other biggest difference between Mamono Sweeper and Minesweeper; the numbering system. In the classic original, the numbers simply told you how many bombs were adjacent to any one given square. In Mamono, the numbers that you see are equal to the sum of all the levels of all the monsters adjacent to that square. Thus, if you reveal a block with a three that could mean that one of the adjacent blocks is one level three monster or three level one monsters. Don't forget that you can click on a monster you've already "killed" in order to get a number for that square as well.

What you get when you take all these variations on the original formula and put them together is a game that looks like Minesweeper, plays like Minesweeper, is as addictive as Minesweeper, but is ultimately deeper and more fleshed out than Minesweeper. The original eventually became a game of pattern recognition as you learned to interpret various number configurations into mine locations. Here a more complex level of math is involved making such connections trickier to make, and the ability to take damage without dying introduces the sacrificial choices, that is, do you take a level four monster now in order to level up quicker, or do you play it safe and spend the extra time looking for lower level enemies? Thus strategy plays a much larger role in Mamono Sweeper than it ever did in Minesweeper.

And it's customizable, offering easy and hard modes right below the playing window, so you don't have an excuse not to play. So if you missed this gem when we first featured it for Link Dump Friday, be sure to give this game a shot. And, oh, hey, is that a CD player? That's so... quaint.

Play Mamono Sweeper

Walkthrough Guide


(Please allow page to fully load for spoiler tags to be functional.)

Tips for guessing:

Conditional probability tells you that large numbers are more likely around clusters of monsters. Applying it in reverse: monsters are more likely to be placed next to large numbers. Given a choice of possible locations, it's best to assume that the monster is next to the largest number that affects the area. (This rule works really well in Minesweeper.)

On the more difficult boards, Occam's razor appears to hold: when a configuration of numbers has more than one "solution" of monsters, assume that there is one monster instead of more. For example, if you reveal a 3, it is more likely that there is one level 3 monster, than three level 1 monsters. On the smaller boards this rule is less effective because there are a higher proportion of low level monsters.

When you get stuck, it's usually better to guess in areas that you've partially uncovered, than to start on a fresh part of the board, because you can use the above rules to your advantage.

The only time you need to guess randomly is when you have a 50-50 spot with no additional clues like the above.

I keep coming back to this game. I love it. It's a great way to kill some time, and it satisfies the part of me that loves rpgs, and the part of me that loves puzzles.

Some gameplay hints:
Use A/D or left/right arrows to mark boxes with the value of the number you think the monster is. This is extremely helpful for the harder levels, and vital for the blind modes.

When you've only marked a portion of the boxes for a given value, keep in mind that the remaining unmarked boxes must equal exactly the remaining value. In other words, if you've marked down 9 points on boxes that touch a value of 13, the remaining boxes must equal exactly 4. This is useful when another value also touches those same remaining boxes.

For example:

[4]13, 4, 6
[5][_][_][_]

If you have revealed the values 13, 4, and 6 along a line, and you can only determine that two boxes touching the 13 are 4 and 5, you can deduce that of the 3 unknown boxes beneath the 13, 4, and 6, the two under the 13 and 4 must add up to exactly 4, so therefore the box under the 6 must be empty.

Hope that helps!

46 Comments

Love it! I survived with one HP left, lol. Doesn't it seem that whenever you accidentally click on a tile, it just happens to be a level four or five monster? Any fan of minesweeper like me would enjoy this game.

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Anonymous June 7, 2010 3:14 PM

Saw it on the Link Dump, enjoyed normal a lot, played several times. Hadn't noticed Hard and Extreme modes. :D Only criticism - too much random chance at the start. Only gets worse on the bigger hard mode.

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Here's some quick links to all the modes of play

Normal

Easy

Huge

Extreme

Blind

Huge Extreme

Huge Blind

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2ho left, Normal level, Time 908. Great game! and yes, the TPS reports suffered dearly.

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I'd love to be able to download this. Any clue if that's possible?

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I've been playing this a lot the last few days. And I don't know whether I'm torturing myself or having the most fun ever.

Doing Extreme or Blind is incredibly difficult. Blind doesn't take that long - I managed to complete a Blind earlier today for the first time in 12 minutes whereas my quickest Huge is just under 20 minutes - but the fact that you can't get rid of any monsters means that at times the monster is in one of two spaces and there is no possible way to tell which one meaning you have a 50% chance of failure through no fault of your own. And for both of them the most frustrating part is clicking around at random to start with to get a reasonable area to begin actually reducing the playing field.

I only have Huge Extreme and Huge Blind to do and I can tell myself I've completed it. If only there was a highscore table so I can see how well I am doing compared to others.

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This game is way too addicting. Note that if you hover your mouse over a square, you can use the A, D, or arrow keys to mark the level of monster that is underneath the square. Very helpful!

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Great observation, chelle!

I think this is now my new favorite Minesweeper-like game. The XP-based element of the game adds a new dimension to the gameplay.

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phdavoid Author Profile Page June 7, 2010 5:15 PM

The instructions given here appear to be incorrect. If you have experience equal to the monster you will lose points. You must be greater

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phdavoid Author Profile Page June 7, 2010 5:18 PM

Oh, I see why I am wrong. Its not your experience but your 'level' that matters.

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Buttons Author Profile Page June 7, 2010 5:33 PM

After several bad starts, I finally beat the huge extreme level. 2813 seconds. Anyone do better?

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This is really addicting!

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delzoup Author Profile Page June 7, 2010 10:24 PM

Thank you for the tip chelle! You're my hero♥

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Finished Huge in 1476 seconds, with full HP.

It bugs me that up to level 5 I can clear only some of the monsters, then to reach level 6 I have to clear every single monster below my level... so I basically know where everything is on the grid and the rest of the levels are just clicking on the squares I've already marked.

I love the win animation, too. Reminds me of the old windows Solitaire game with the bouncing cards.

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billyswong June 8, 2010 2:35 AM

Finished all levels. Replaying again.

My only complaint is the number marking control. I so wish it could let me mark numbers not through [a][d] but direct [1][2][3]...

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ChaoSpectre Author Profile Page June 8, 2010 4:15 AM

Just going to drop a note here before there are too many comments that people won't read:

At first glance I'm reminded of Onslaught of the Electric Zombies.

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Note to Jayisgames: if you're making icons or screenshots of a pixel-based game, switch the options in the image resizing menu to "Nearest Neighbor", and double the size. The pixels will come out clearly instead of fuzzy.

Sorry, it drives me crazy. It makes for icons like this horror: http://images.jayisgames.com/icon_inthedoghouse.gif

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Is there a shortcut for "clear all the squares around the clicked one"?

I like the game, but the repetitive process of sweeping all the squares around the number less or equal to my level is tiresome...

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hikari no sakura Author Profile Page June 8, 2010 11:07 AM

phew, beat it on extreme. now trying blind mode...

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What's "NE"?

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"NE" appears to mean "Next", as it's the experience remaining before you level up again.

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Does anyone know the algorithims that determine hitpoint loss and how much exp everything gives?

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Damage taken appears to be:

MonsterLevel * (MonsterLevel - PlayerLevel)

Fighting a monster one level above you isn't too bad, but damage goes up quadratically if you click on anything stronger.

Exp received appears to be:

2^(MonsterLevel - 1)
That is, the sequence is 1, 2, 4, 8...

(Note: I could be wrong about both of these.)

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Thanks OtherBill. I should have figured it by myself ;)

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Wow, Chelle, that's SO awesome. I was just about to post saying how this would be the perfect game if only it could do that. ;)

I think perhaps this should be noted in the review too.

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LouBord Author Profile Page June 9, 2010 2:26 AM

Just completed the HUGE puzzle in T=3439 without getting damaged once! heh

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FinFanKain Author Profile Page June 9, 2010 2:52 AM

Finsihed huge extreme in 2898, finally. Just a bit slower than you, Buttons. It is so nerve-wracking, sometimes.

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Okay, they published an English version of the description text, so here's more information on the damage tables.

Let's say that you are level X and you're fighting a monster that is level Y (their HP will always be Y as well).

You always get first strike, for X damage to them. If they are still alive, they strike back, for Y damage to you. This repeats until one of you is dead.

From this, the number of times you have to attack a monster before you kill it is:

round_up( monster_level / player_level)

And the number of times a monster will attack you before you kill it is:

round_up(monster_level/player_level) - 1

From this, the damage you receive is:

(round_up(monster_level/player_level)-1) * monster_level

On a practical note, this means that if you are level X, you can kill monsters up to level 2X and only get hit once (for Y damage). On the small board, you can get away with one or two mistakes once you hit level 2; even on the huge board, you can generally get away with one or two mistakes once you hit level 4.

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twosixtyseven Author Profile Page June 9, 2010 3:25 PM

amazing, i've LOVED this game ever since last link dump friday. for people who don't know how to play minesweeper, don't be intimidated! this game is a blast to play, i've probably clocked in a few hours already.

it appears the creator has made an english page since i've last checked. everything is explained under the game.

thanks for the full review!

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bizarre bug. I'm playing Extreme, and there is this "blind" spot against the right border and about 10 squares from the bottom. it shows number clues, but where there should be monsters -- there's nothing. I click it and it's like several blank spots.

replicated during several games.

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Also, if you click on a monster you've already defeated, it will show the total number of hitpoints in adjacent squares.

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crashlanding Author Profile Page June 10, 2010 8:11 AM

LOVE. THIS. GAME.

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Anonymous June 10, 2010 2:56 PM

I think mine is broken.

I get as far as you can possibly get without running into walls upon walls of L5 and L6 monsters (at least, that's how I'm interpreting the clues), have lots of XP, over 50, but can't get to L3.

How many freakin' XP do you need to get to L3, anyway? L2 was at 10! Why is it (apparently) HUNDREDS to get to the next one?

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Anonymous June 10, 2010 3:04 PM

Ugh, this is really tough in the beginning.

It's nearly impossible to get 10 L1's by blind luck without opening multiple areas, and thereby clicking on too-big monsters that eat you.

Pretty much the same problem as normal minesweeper: you must guess, you will guess wrong seemingly 100% of the time, making it feel fixed.

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Whoo! Been addicted to minesweeper since I was laid up with appendicitis and only the one game for three days. I beat Huge a few times, then decided to try extreme. I beat it on my first try in 1406 sec/ 1hp left. Wow! Time to lay off the minesweeper I think...

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Holy cow! I managed to beat Huge Extreme mode. Only took about twelve thousand tries.

Also, holy cow! I stayed up until two in the morning playing this game! 9_9

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Tips for guessing:

Conditional probability tells you that large numbers are more likely around clusters of monsters. Applying it in reverse: monsters are more likely to be placed next to large numbers. Given a choice of possible locations, it's best to assume that the monster is next to the largest number that affects the area. (This rule works really well in Minesweeper.)

On the more difficult boards, Occam's razor appears to hold: when a configuration of numbers has more than one "solution" of monsters, assume that there is one monster instead of more. For example, if you reveal a 3, it is more likely that there is one level 3 monster, than three level 1 monsters. On the smaller boards this rule is less effective because there are a higher proportion of low level monsters.

When you get stuck, it's usually better to guess in areas that you've partially uncovered, than to start on a fresh part of the board, because you can use the above rules to your advantage.

The only time you need to guess randomly is when you have a 50-50 spot with no additional clues like the above.

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Okay. I must have spent forty hours trying to beat Blind mode. I did, and I felt like I hadn't accomplished anything.

Now to try Huge Blind mode! :D

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Solitude July 16, 2010 9:05 PM

An interesting game from a design point of view. The change in the information provided actually seems to make the game easier than conventional Minesweeper, it inherently rewards low-risk behaviour.

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I keep coming back to this game. I love it. It's a great way to kill some time, and it satisfies the part of me that loves rpgs, and the part of me that loves puzzles.

Some gameplay hints:
Use A/D or left/right arrows to mark boxes with the value of the number you think the monster is. This is extremely helpful for the harder levels, and vital for the blind modes.

When you've only marked a portion of the boxes for a given value, keep in mind that the remaining unmarked boxes must equal exactly the remaining value. In other words, if you've marked down 9 points on boxes that touch a value of 13, the remaining boxes must equal exactly 4. This is useful when another value also touches those same remaining boxes.

For example:

[4]13, 4, 6
[5][_][_][_]

If you have revealed the values 13, 4, and 6 along a line, and you can only determine that two boxes touching the 13 are 4 and 5, you can deduce that of the 3 unknown boxes beneath the 13, 4, and 6, the two under the 13 and 4 must add up to exactly 4, so therefore the box under the 6 must be empty.

Hope that helps!

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Apocalypstic July 31, 2010 6:42 PM

I beat huge extreme in 2572 seconds, though I admit, I did get help from my brother. It was very hard and nerve wracking when I had low hp and was I afraid I made a mistake.

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victor121 Author Profile Page August 8, 2010 6:25 PM

This game is really fun, but on the higher difficulties, at one point, you have to clear all of the monsters equal and below your level. It irritates me.

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Ooh, fun game. More fun than Minesweeper - and I haven't even tried the higher difficulties!

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I've been playing this from day one and STILL haven't gotten past Huge and Blind mode... i promised myself to keep trying till i get it... and then i'll NEVER go back to blind mode again! I always get it to a point where i HAVE to guess something and eventually guess wrong

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ChaoSpectre Author Profile Page August 8, 2011 8:47 PM

This is a great game and I come back to it over and over again.

However, after a long period of evaluation, I've come to the conclusion that it is lacking in "user-friendliness."

As a clear minesweeper derivative, a lack of auto fill is disappointing. It should be simple to close any unflagged surrounding tiles if you click on an open clue and the flag values around it sum to the open clue.

Also, because of the color scheme, it would be nice if the overall size were made slightly bigger, or if the cell you point at were highlighted, just to prevent some simple ui confusion.

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