Review: Microsoft Treasure Hunt

Table of Contents

Quick Info

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Additional Notes
This game uses a permadeath feature. This game is free! This is an app. This game displays advertising.

Summary of major issues
It's fairly minor, but hidden traps can hurt your character, and you can defeat monsters with a bow and arrow. The latter functions more like a locked door than an actual antagonist, however.

Screenshots


Working through a level


Bonus round!


Shopping for useful items

General Information

Genre:Puzzle / AdventureAge Rating:Everyone (Ages 3+)
License:FreewareQuality Rating:Good
Played on:Thaddeus
Available from: Windows Store
Save System:Your progress is automatically saved whenever you quit. There's also no need for a pause function, as the game doesn't advance until you move.

Game Overview

Until recently, every copy of Microsoft Windows came with a little game called Minesweeper. It was a simple game; simple enough that many other games implemented their own copy as a minigame. Still, it's really not something most of us would spend time playing. Fortunately, Microsoft has spruced it up, recreating the classic game as Microsoft Treasure Hunt.

Now there's a reason to click through those many dangerous squares -- treasure lies among the rocks, just waiting for your adventurer to run over and collect it! But, this wouldn't be much of an adventure without some peril. Hidden in the walls of the dungeons are various traps you'll need to avoid. The trick to doing this lies on the floor -- just like in the original Minesweeper, spaces display a number indicating how many traps are in the adjacent spaces. Places where no numbers appear harbor no dangers, while a one or more indicates that there's a trap nearby. By watching for patterns in these numbers, you can work your way around the traps, collect the treasure, and continue deeper within the caverns.

Making things more interesting, there are now various powerups for you to use. Map fragments can be used to show where nearby traps are located. Pickaxes and dynamite allow you to smash through walls, and arrows provide you with a way to defeat the monsters lurking in the depths. At the end of some levels, you'll also encounter a mummy shopkeeper. They'll trade powerups for some of your loot, but beware: the shops aren't found that often.

Eventually, your adventurer will trip one trap too many, and collapse on the ground. Your game is over, and your high score is recorded. There is no end to this journey; the only real goal is to see how far you can go and how much booty you can gather.

Ultimately, this is an okay game. It's a big improvement on the original Minesweeper concept, but there isn't much in the way of staying power. Still, it can't hurt to give it a whirl.

Pros

XBox Achievements
While there isn't really that much to do beyond collecting treasure and dodging traps, there's a number of achievements available. Acquiring better equipment, exploring further, and even attempting some unique challenges will net these awards. Better yet, most of them will take some careful playing to earn, as they require you to stay alive for atypically long periods.


Good twist on an old theme
This game is much more than a new coat of paint on an old design. With the new powerups, secret areas, and randomly generated levels, it's largely an entirely new game experience. Obviously, if you're good at Minesweeper you'll be good at this game, but there's enough changes to the formula to keep you challenged.


Cons

Advertising
Like other Microsoft Casual Games, this game is ad-supported. Also like the others, the ads don't get in the way of your game for the most part. The one exception to this comes when you find a bonus area -- you're only allowed in if you watch a short video advertisement.

On the other hand, there is no option to purchase an ad-free version of the game.


Concerns and Issues

Mild violence
Unsurprisingly, triggering a hidden trap results in your adventurer getting hurt. The animation that you see when this happens only shows him stumbling backwards, so calling it "violent" is almost a stretch.

There are also various monsters in the cavern. To defeat them, you move into their space with an arrow in your inventory. Your adventurer will draw a bow and shoot them with that arrow. In effect, this reduces the monsters to a type of locked door -- one you open by shooting it with an arrow instead of inserting a key.