I never bothered learning how to play Minesweeper. I remember seeing it in Windows 3.1 but I thought it was similar to Battleships and frankly, it looked basic and boring. Basic it may look but today I accidentally learned how to play it. I hope these instructions don’t knock something important out of my brain!
The number indicates how many bombs are within 1 square of the number. A 3 indicates that 3 of the 8 squares directly surrounding it are bombs. Clicking a space with no bombs, which also has no bombs around it, is like revealing a 0. When this happens, the game automatically reveals all spaces surrounding the 0. If those spaces are also zeroes, it does this again. If it reveals a number, then it can go no further in that direction. That’s why clicking some spaces reveals large sections of the board with numbers at the borders of the newly empty section.
Edit: Forgot to mention that when you determine which squares are definitely bombs, right click to flag them
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