# Mamono Sweeper

**4.8**/5 (326 votes)

Hey 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.

## Walkthrough Guide

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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.

Posted by: Tom | June 27, 2010 12:19 PM

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!

Posted by: Sethum | July 27, 2010 12:28 AM