Minefield Madness is out now on Amazon for free
A while back I talked about a project of mine to learn SDL2 and Android and even showed some screenshots of a game I was working on called Minefield Madness.
Minefield Madness is a game that I consider a reimagining of the classic Minesweeper, or as some of my testers have said it: it’s minesweeper on steroids.
The very basic difference however is that in minesweeper you have to figure out where the mines are to win, in Minefield Madness you just have to cross a minefield to safety, and you have a lot of weapons and items of different categories and uses to help you go across the game.
Minefield Madness is a neverending game. It has no limit on how many levels you can play and the areas are all randomly generated so you never know what to expect next, and in higher difficulty levels the game poses an interesting challenge for those who like puzzle games.
The difficulty level in Minefield Madness dictate the probability of different events happening (like the probability of having mines, blockades, safe spots, items, etc) effectively making the game easier or harder. It is very easy to implement and the results are very good.
The overall idea of the game is to traverse from the starting area (left of the field) to the exit (the arrow at the right of the field) without stepping on invisible mines. If a character steps on a mine, this character will die (unless it has used a health pack before which gives the character immunity to a mine), if you loose all your available characters, the game is over.
Those of you who have played Age of Empires or other classic RPGs will grasp the way this game plays very easily: you click on the character you want to move, at which point it will become selected, and then you click where you want that character to go, the character’s IA will attempt to go there using the safest but also fastest possible path, if it’s possible to go there at all.
There are different kinds of terrain: there’s grass terrain, which is the most dangerous, a grass terrain may or may not contain a mine, there’s also rocks and lakes that serve as blockades that prevents you from going there, and finally there’s “safe spots”, terrain that has been blown up, which of course means there’s no mine there. There’s also the starting terrain (left of the screen) and the exit terrain (arrow in the right).
When you start a game you have three items at your disposal: a grenade, a lawnmower and a magnet, but there’s also other items that may appear in the middle of the minefield for you to pick up, here’s an explanation of all the game’s items:
– Missile: this is one of the most powerful weapons of the game, it destroys a big chunk of the terrain (9 squares). To use it, click on it to select it, then click on where you want to launch it and watch it go.
– Grenade: a very standard weapon, it’s not powerful but it’s very helpful. It will destroy a block of terrain. Click on it to select it, then click on the block you want to be see destroyed.
– Lawnmower: this household item can cut through the grass and destroy three consecutive blocks of terrain. It is used the same way as the grenade or missile.
– Teleporter: this item allows you to teleport your currently selected character to nearby blocks, effectively avoiding blockades or possible mine spots. It can only teleport at most two blocks away and it cannot teleport to the exit. To use it select the character you want to teleport then click on this item, a bunch of blocks of the map will be marked showing where you can teleport to, click on any of these spots to teleport there or click anywhere else to cancel.
– Minedetector: this minedetector effectively reveals all mines in a radius of two blocks from the currently selected character.
– Lifeup: this item gives one extra life to the currently selected character, making it immune to a mine. A character can have as many lifeups as you want, if you have used two lifeups on one character, that character can stand up to two mines.
– Flamethrower: this item is pretty standard and not very powerful, but it can save your life if used properly. It will blow up parts of the terrain ahead of the currently selected character.
– Cow: this animal is mostly an in-joke, but it’s actually pretty damn powerful and useful. Once picked up, you can place the cow anywhere in the minefield and control it the same way you control normal characters, the difference is that the cow never dies from mines, on the contrary, wherever the cow ends up going it will eat the terrain, if there’s a mine where the cow is eating the mine will be revealed, otherwise the terrain will become a safe spot. Of course the cow is not unlimited, it gets bored after eating 5 or 6 times (can’t remember the exact amount) and simply disappears.
Beware: the cow is REALLY d*mn slow, it takes about half as much to go somewhere as it would take for a normal character. This is actually a bug but since it’s so funny I didn’t bother fixing it.
– Napalm: this item looks like those fire balls that Super Mario throws, but no it’s actually napalm. To use the napalm simply click on it. The napalm is extremely powerful, it can blow up anything and blows up a lot of the terrain, the problem is that you can’t control what it blows up, it’s completely random, it can blow up a mine, a blockade or a part of terrain that is already blown.
– Laser: this item, along with the napalm, almost never made it to the final game, the napalm was really buggy and took me a while to actually get it working right, as for the laser I couldn’t figure out an interesting way to use it. Anyways, the laser works similarly to the flamethrower, it will launch an attack ahead of the currently selected character. In the case of the laser, it will throw a beam that will go from the selected character all the way to the right, if it finds a visible mine, it will destroy it, if it finds an invisible mine, it will be turned visible, if it finds a blockade (such as rocks or lakes) it will stop and fade out. It’s an item that you should use strategy with as you don’t want it to go wasted for nothing.
– Magnet: the most powerful item in the game. The magnet can attract all mines in a 2 blocks radius, effectively leaving all that part empty of mines, but it can also be picked up again as many times as you want, the problem is since the magnet attracts all mines, it will now sit on top of a mine spot so it is up to you to decide if it’s worth it picking up and loosing a character, life or other item. To use the magnet just click on it to select it and click on where you want to place it in the map.
There is definitely not much more to say about the game, it was conceived as the type of games you want to have on Android: games to do a quick play while you’re waiting for the bus or in a queue at the bank. It is certainly not a big budget game, but it may give you quite some hours of fun. Try it out, it’s free. The game can be downloaded from the Amazon app store, you can do a quick google search of “amazon app store” and the very first result is the download page for this app store. The reason I uploaded it to amazon first is because I really liked their app store: you can use the same account you have been using on amazon and they give you a paid app for free EVERY DAY! [Note from wololo: today they even give away 26 apps for free] Let’s not forget that uploading to the amazon app store is free of charge, where’s for google play you have to pay 25 bucks up front, which I a having trouble to obtain.
So yeah the game is free, there’s no “wait X minutes to play again” and all it really has is some advertising at the end of each level that can be closed immediately, and some in app purchases, but those are not optional (in fact there is a free alternative to in app purchases if you watch an ad), I don’t really like microtransactions but a few of my testers convinced me of the need to have optional ones, and the fact that if I ever want to port this game to iOS I will need the money to and if I want to port it to the PSP I need to fix one of my PSPs and that costs money too.
So yeah, download the game, and just have fun with it, and please disable adblock on it if you want to support the game, I mean the ads are placed in a way such as it’s not at all intrusive.