Hive Sweeper – Minesweeper With a Bee Theme
When Sony announced the Minis program, they announced a lot of games that never came out, some despite having descriptions and screenshots released for them. But perplexingly to me, we’ve also gotten the complete opposite of that, games that just come from out of nowhere. Hive Sweeper is one of those games, coming from Skylon Games. They have a website, but it’s almost completely blank, no mention of this game at all. So apologies for the screenshots from my digital camera, I couldn’t find any proper ones.
Still, the name is a pretty big clue as to what the game is about. It’s essentially Minesweeper, the game included with Windows. But with a bee theme. If you aren’t familiar with it, basically it’s a sort of logic game where you have to figure out where there are mines and where there aren’t, by sort of deducing it. You are given some clues in the form of numbers on the squares, which tells you how many mines are adjacent to it (including diagonally).
Essentially, you pick squares that you think are clear of the mines (with the X button), and then mark the squares you think are mines with a flag (the O button). When you have all the spaces identified correctly on the board, you have won. It keeps track of your best time.
Personally, I play games so as to not think (I do enough of that as it is, thank you very much), so I’ve actually always avoided Minesweeper. Now that I sit down and actually play it, I have to admit, I can see how people can find it fun. I can definitely feel my brain working though.
There are several options, though. Firstly, you can pick what shape the spaces on the board are. You can pick the traditional square, plus triangles and hexagons. Then you can pick the size: small, medium, or large. Small actually isn’t so small, it’s 13×12. Medium is 17×14, and Large takes up the whole PSP screen and is a whopping 27×14.
Next up, you can pick how many mines there are on the field, and then how much time you have to complete the puzzle. The choices in these options scale to the size of the map you’ve picked.
This is one of those games that it’s really hit or miss. If you like Minesweeper and want to play it on the PSP or PS3, well, here you go. If you don’t like Minesweeper, it’s probably not going to convert you. Still, they gave you a lot of options, which was nice. And the bee theme actually makes sense, vaguely, since the beehive is actually made up of a grid like you see in this game.
On the other hand, they could have added a hint function, and the ability to save/load a game. Some of the bigger playing boards would take a while so the latter would be very useful. I also have to think they could have come up with a better end game screen than “Sorry Dude, You Stepped on A Huge Bomb!”. I guess these are surfer bees.